After the delegation-level talks between China and India concluded, India's Foreign Secretary, Vijay Gokhale briefed the media on Saturday and said that owing to the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping, the relationship between India and China has intensified across all sectors. Foreign Secretary Gokhale announced that both the leaders had reached an understanding to establish a new mechanism, which would be at an elevated level to discuss trade, investments and services in order to counter the trade deficit. He also added that the strategic communication between the two countries has deepened.
The Foreign Secretary, in his briefing, said that PM Modi and Xi Jinping had a good conversation on trade which has been an area of concern in India. He said that after hearing out Prime Minister Modi, President Xi Jinping stated that China is ready to take sincere action in this regard and to discuss in a very concrete way how to reduce the trade deficit. He said:
"One of the important understandings that the two leaders reached to was that a new mechanism will be established to discuss trade, investments and services. This will be at an elevated level. From the Chinese side, it would be the Vice Premier Hu Chunhua and from the Indian side, it will be the Union Finance Minister of India Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman. The decision of how and when this mechanism will be activated will now be done through diplomatic channels and it is not something that the leaders will go through. President Xi Jinping also welcomed investments from India into China including in the Information Technology and Pharmaceutical sectors. The two leaders also agreed that they should explore through this new mechanism the possibility of establishing manufacturing partnerships and Prime Minister suggested that both sides could identify certain sectors, certain specific industries and investment could come in where manufacturing could help create employment and enhance the market for both the sides."
Secretary Gokhale also said that the leaders touched upon the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and PM Modi asserted on the need of balance in trade. "Obviously when trade is being discussed one of the issues that was briefly touched upon was the RCEP, the discussions between 16 countries to form a common regional trading agreement and Prime Minister specifically said in this regard, India looks forward to this but that it is important that RCEP is balanced, that a balance is maintained between trading goods, services and investments. President Xi Jinping noted this and said that China and India are ready to discuss this further and Indian concerns will be taken into account," he added.