India, China should join hands against protectionism: Envoy

March 25th, 2009 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) Ahead of a likely meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in London next week, China Wednesday said the two countries should join hands to tackle the global financial crisis to guard against protectionism of developed countries.
“The two countries can exchange experience and join efforts to tackle international financial crisis to guard against the protectionism of developed countries,” China’s ambassador to India Zhang Yan told reporters here.

“The two countries should push for reforms of international financial institutions to defend our interests,” said the Chinese envoy.

Manmohan Singh is likely to meet Hu on the sidelines of the G20 summit in London April 2 that will focus on finding collective solution to the global economic slump.

Talks are on to resolve issues relating to India’s restrictions on imports of Chinese toys, the envoy said.

“There has been some progress,” he said while alluding to talks between Commerce Secretary G.K. Pillai and Chinese Vice-Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan here last week.

India had imposed a six-month ban on Chinese toy imports in January, but later relaxed the curbs by agreeing to allow only those Chinese toys that meet international quality standards.

China has raised the issue at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) alleging that India had breached WTO conditions of giving the same treatment to goods from a WTO member country as to domestically-produced goods.

The sides have agreed to set up a joint panel to deal with issues related to trade between the countries.

India-China bilateral trade increased to $51 billion in 2008-09 from $38 billion last year.

The Chinese envoy admitted that global financial downturn has affected the Chinese economy, specially in coastal areas where many factories have closed.

“The financial problem is quite a big problem for China. The economy has been severely affected,” he said.

But with huge stimulus package, estimated to be around $700 billion, Beijing is confident of achieving eight percent growth rate this year,” he stressed.

“We are quite confident we will be able to maintain a healthy economy. It’s a very challenging year,” the envoy said.

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