India and China have successfully concluded talks on examining market access and quarantine issues for India's agriculture and allied products, it was announced on Monday.
The two countries signed the protocol for exports of Indian tobacco leaves to China last week. Quality tobacco on par with international standards is available in India at competitive prices, and there is good potential for export of Indian tobacco to China.
Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan was on a two-day official visit to Beijing on January 21 and 22 during which he met GACC Vice-Minister Zhang Jiwen, according to an official statement.
Wadhawan appreciated the General Administration of China Customs (GACC) for expeditiously addressing long-pending agricultural market access issues for Indian products following understanding reached at the informal summit in Wuhan last year between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping.
The revival of the phytosanitary protocol with China will pave the way for revival of Indian tobacco exports to China and prove economically beneficial to Indian farmers. The recent period has thus seen significant progress in market access for a number of agricultural and allied products from India.
The government has requested the GACC to expedite market access for other products like okra, soyabean, bovine meat and dairy products.
Wadhawan also met Vice-Minister at China's Ministry of Commerce Wang Shouwen to discuss the progress made under Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations and efforts to strengthen bilateral trade.
A protocol on exports of non-basmati rice was signed in June 2018 on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit. GACC has also approved six Indian mills for export of rapeseed meal to China. The protocol on exports of fish meal and fish oil was signed during the visit of GACC's Vice-Minister to New Delhi in November 2018.
The GACC has also deputed experts to inspect Indian soyabean meal establishments, pomegranate orchards and pack houses in December 2018. The SPS protocols for these products are at an advanced stage of negotiation.