Science & technology Current Affairs
The eleventh session of the China-India joint-group on Economic Relations, Trade, Science & Technology was held in New Delhi. The session was co-chaired by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Suresh Prabhu and China’s Minister of Commerce Mr. Zhong Shan.
Key Outcomes of meeting
Both countries reaffirmed and reiterated their commitments to promote balanced and sustainable bilateral trade. They agreed to continue to take forward initiatives identified in Five Year Development Programme for Economic and Trade Cooperation (DPETC) signed between both countries in September 2014.
China noted India’s concern regarding long existing trade imbalance and requests for market access for Indian products and services. It also expressed its commitment to address these concerns through broad framework provided by successive JEGs and Five Year DPETC.
China reaffirmed its commitment to accelerate provision of market access for Indian agricultural products pertaining to non-basmati rice, soya-meals, rape-seed meals, pomegranate and pomegranate arils, okra, banana and other fruits and vegetables and bovine meat expeditiously.
Both countries reaffirmed their aim to promote bilateral trade in field of pharmaceuticals including resolution of issues of Indian pharma products exports to Chinese markets. They agreed to draw-up medium and long term roadmap with action points and timelines to increase bilateral trade between in balanced and sustainable manner. They also agreed to strengthen cooperation within WTO and other multilateral and regional frameworks and to maintain their common interest. Both sides reiterated their commitment to rules based multilateral global trade.
India and China are the largest emerging economies of world with 35% of the world’s population and around 20% of the world’s GDP but the relative volume of bilateral trade is less than 1% of global trade. India-China bilateral trade has reached $84.44 billion last year, a historic high with 18.63% year-on-year growth rate. India is seventh largest export destination for Chinese products, and 24th largest exporter to China. India’s trade deficit: It continues to remain high at $51.75 billion, registering a growth of 8.55% year-on-year in 2017.
The Union Cabinet approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Canada for cooperation in field of Science & Technology. The MoU was concluded by Department of Science and Technology (DST) with Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada.
The MoU will provide mechanism and help to foster scientific cooperation between Research & Development (R&D) and academic institutions of India and Canada. Under it, an innovative model of R&D cooperation between India and Canada will be implemented.
Under this MoU, India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnership to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability (IC-IMPACTS) programme will be supported to promote multidisciplinary research partnerships between both countries.
The R&D projects will be aimed at accelerating social transformation by providing solutions through application of S&T. The participants will include researchers from scientific organizations, academia and R&D laboratories from India and Canada.
Identified areas of mutual cooperation under the MoU include safe and sustainable infrastructure and integrated water management. This will help to develop institutional networking and support establishment of connections between scientific organizations, scientists and specialists of both countries.