India is making inroads in global trading negotiations with Beijing, according to its economic chief.
The finance minister said India has already started negotiating bilateral and multilateral trade deals with the Chinese economy and is considering the possibility of negotiating similar deals with other nations in the Asia-Pacific region.
In a speech at the International Monetary Fund’s annual conference on Thursday, Pranab Mukherjee said India and China were working together to strengthen the transnational nature of bilateral trade and to improve the efficiency of bilateral investment.
“India is not going to be the last country in the world to do it,” he said.
“I believe in the strength of a nation-state.
If we look at the history of trade, India was a pioneer in this field, and China is a pioneer of this field,” he added.
“If we can make inroads with the leadership of China, India can be the next pioneer of transnational trade and we will be the first in this regard.”
He said China had developed a system of “strategic alignment” whereby it would work closely with the Indian government and the business community to address the challenges facing its economic development.
“We are also working on a common framework for trade, with the hope of expanding the scope of this dialogue, and to achieve a better understanding between the two countries,” Mukherjee said.
He said there were also initiatives to enhance the Indian investment climate, particularly in infrastructure.
“There is a common goal of making our roads, bridges, airports, power grids and other public infrastructure safe, efficient and affordable for our people,” Mukhersjee said.
“We will continue working on this.
There is a lot of work to be done.”