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India, China form panel to boost steel ties

Beijing, Oct. 18 (PTI): India and China, major steel producers, have formed the first industrial level working group to step up bilateral cooperation even as Indian iron and steel export to China witnessed an amazing growth of 1452 per cent in the first six months of this year.

The decision to form a joint working group was taken here when top officials of the Indian Steel Alliance (ISA) and the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) met yesterday on the sidelines of the largest-ever ‘Made in India’ show organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

ISA chairman J.J. Irani said the working group, the first industry level group, would discuss India-China cooperation in iron ore and steel and address issues and discuss specific areas of cooperation between the two countries in this vital sector.

Welcoming the move, CISA chairman Wu Xichun said the decision to establish a formal link between the two countries was important and would ensure a smooth flow of information.

Wu also announced that a delegation from China would visit India as a next step in the process in December 2003.

He also proposed that the two sides could hold discussions on five specific areas, including, potential of export for the next two to three years, establishment of long-term contract for import of iron ore from India, expand long-term purchase of iron ore and establish a joint venture in India for iron ore, reviewing the trade in iron and steel and cooperation on issues relating to multilateral agreements.

At the meeting, D.V. Singh, joint secretary, ministry of steel, said the government was formulating a national policy on steel and it was not inclined to introduce any control on the steel industry.

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