The Parched Tiger And Thirsty Dragon: India And China Ink Agreements On Water Resources

Via The Times of India, an article on some new agreements aimed at enhancing cooperation between India and China over water:

Weeks after the flare-up on the border issue, India and China on Monday sought to further improve their bilateral relations and firmed up eight agreements to enhance cooperation in a range of areas including trade, culture and water resources.

The agreements were signed after delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang.

To enhance trade, both the sides decided to set up three working groups under the Joint Economic Group. The three groups are Services Trade Promotion Working Group, Economic And Trade Planning Cooperation Group and Trade Statistical Analysis Group.

The pact for setting up of the working groups was signed by Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and his Chinese counterpart Gao Hucheng.

In 2012, bilateral trade between the two countries was $66 billion, a decline from over the $74 billion mark in 2011. The two countries have set a target of $100 billion by 2015 for bilateral trade.

As per an agreement signed by external affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, China will make further improvements to the existing facilities for Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims including providing them with wireless sets and local SIM cards.

The Kailash Mansrovar Yatra will be conducted every year from May to September.

Another pact was signed between the two sides under which China will provide information of water level, discharge and rainfall twice a day from June 1st to October 15th each year in respect of three hydrological stations on the mainstream Brahmaputra river.

A separate Memorandum of Understanding was also signed between the India’s Ministry of Water Resources and China’s National Development and Reform Commission for cooperation in the field of ensuring water efficient irrigation.

The MoU aims at enhancing bilateral cooperation in the field of water efficient technology with applicability in the area of agriculture and exchange of best practices.

The MOU aims to institutionalise cooperation in promoting trade of fishery products and healthy development of trade between the countries.

India is expecting more exports from India to China through this cooperation, the statement said.

Further, a MoU was also inked between Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India and The China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products.

“India has been finding it difficult to expand its trade with China in the pharmaceutical sector. The signing of the MoU is expected to facilitate access to the China market in pharmaceuticals,” it said.

The average imports of medicinal and pharmaceutical products from China during last five years were $4.33 billion vis-a-vis exports from India of $692.44 million.

An agreement was also signed between Export Inspection Council of India (EIC) and AQSIQ on trade and safety of feed and feed ingredients.

“India hopes a big merchandise trade for feed and feed ingredients after the resumption of trade as China has suspended import of feed and feed ingredients since January 1, 2012,” it said.

Further, the statement said a work programme was constituted on the Working Groups constituted during the 9th Joint Economic Group (JEG).

“The programme proposes concrete deliverables to constitute and define detailed mandate of the Working Groups…,” it added.

The bilateral trade between India and China had gone up from $2.09 billion in 2001-02 to $67.83 billion during the 2012-13.

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