NEW DELHI: Government today said it recently raised the issue of greater market access for its goods and services in China with a view to increase exports and bridge the widening trade deficit.

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that in a recent meeting with the China’s Ambassador designate to India, she has flagged various issues in areas like IT and pharmaceuticals.

“I have spoken to him in detail about various areas on which I want Chinese to respond to us… He has assured me that he would look into it and come back to us,” she told reporters here.

Explaining about the issues, the minister said many of India’s exports are now being routed via Vietnam.

“If exports to China should happen, it should happen directly from India to China. There are several Indian IT companies who have established business in China but whose operations are lagging behind schedule because permissions are not given easily and inspections are happening over and over again,” she said.

Sitharaman also said that Indian banks which are there and are trying to help Indian exporters are not given operational freedom in China.

“So there are many such issues which I have listed out,” she said adding “We are talking to them to get the greater market access”.

Further, a Chinese delegation have come to see domestic labs for phytosanitary clearances but they have not yet responded.

“I had reminded the Ambassador about it saying China can not consume so much time for these things,” Sitharaman said.

“…our companies do not get market access. So we are definitely working with Chinese to see how best we can increase our goods market access in China,” she added.

In 2015-16, India’s exports to China was USD 9 billion, imports were USD 61.7 billion, leaving a trade deficit of USD 52.7 billion.