Beijing, May 29 (PTI) India and China have agreed to start formal negotiations on a bilateral social security agreement aimed at protecting Indian professionals and skilled workers abroad. Also Read - India Welcomes Normalisation of Relations Between Sudan and Israel

The understanding was reached between the two sides during the two-day talks held in Beijing on May 28-29, a press release from Indian Embassy here said. Also Read - Machu Picchu in Peru Reopens After 8 Months, But Only For 1 Japanese Tourist. Know Why

During the talks, the Indian delegation led by Vinod K Jacob, Joint Secretary (economic diplomacy and states division) of the Ministry of External Affairs, and a Chinese delegation led by Ma Hezu, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security exchanged views on the social security systems in India and China and their experiences with finalising and signing bilateral social security agreements with other countries. Also Read - Peru Opens Machu Picchu For a Single Japanese Tourist After Being Shut For 7 Months, Here's Why

The two sides carried out detailed and extensive discussions on the next steps which would make up the formal negotiation phase on the social security agreement that is expected to begin next year, it said.

So far, India has signed social security agreements with 18 countries from different parts of the world and is currently engaged in discussions with a number of other countries including Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Mexico, Peru and Thailand, the release said.

The bilateral social security agreements are aimed at protecting the interests of Indian professionals, skilled workers working abroad by providing them benefits like avoidance of double social security contributions and facilitating remittances of accumulated social security contribution.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.