India, China should identify projects for strengthening agri-cooperation
India attaches high priority to its relations with China and is committed to further develop friendly and cooperative relations with China. The Union Minister of Agriculture, Radha Mohan Singh, made the above statement on Tuesday, as he welcomed the Chinese delegation led by Han Changfu, Minister of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China, currently on India tour. In the meeting, the Union Minister said the relation between India and China has witnessed an over-all progress in the recent years as a result of the high-level political exchanges on the sidelines of multilateral events and the economic interactions. Further speaking on the agricultural cooperation between the two countries, the Minister informed that the MoU in the field of Agriculture was signed between the two countries in 2006. However, there has not been much progress achieved so far in the MoU on agri-cooperation, he added. In this regard, the Indian Minister urged on the need for both the countries, to identify new projects in order to add momentum to the existing cooperation under the ambit of the MoU signed. Towards this move, the Minister pitched for regular meetings of Joint Working Groups from both the countries to take forward the agri-cooperation between the two countries. During 2013-14, India exported agricultural products worth Rs 2,68,000 crore and during the same period, the agricultural imports from China stood at US$ 304.31 million, the Minister informed. China has been importing large number of agricultural products from India, the Minister said, while also exuding confidence that ‘India has the potential to export those commodities to China’. In this regard, he called upon both the countries to explore ways for increasing bilateral trade in agriculture, among sectors, while highlighting the great potential for trade of livestock products, basmati and non-basmati rice, fresh fruits and vegetables. In order to enhance bilateral trade in agriculture and other commodities, both the countries also need to sort out sanitary and phytosanitary issues, for which discussions and exchanges at appropriate levels are under progress and would be settled soon, he added. The Minister also informed that further discussions and exchange of ideas with his Chinese counterpart would take place during their next meet at the G-20 meeting in Istanbul, Turkey.
May 6, 2015 | 5:46 pm IST.