The call to boycott Chinese goods in India is not good for bilateral trade as the two countries attempt to forge stronger economic relations and “jingoism” should not be encouraged, a senior official from China’s leading organisation promoting foreign trade has said.
Equating the boycott call to “jingoism”, Yang Yucheng from the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) said it is different from trade protectionism which is natural and acceptable.
“People will prefer cheaper goods,” Yang said, adding Chinese consumers too buy goods from abroad and “there has to be exchange of goods”.
Yang was speaking to Hindustan Times during an India-China business meet in the eastern city of Huzhou near Shanghai, attended by 200 representatives of medium and small scale industries operating in the region.
His remarks came days after the Chinese embassy in New Delhi issued a statement saying exports to India accounted for only 2% of China’s total shipments.
Meanwhile, in Beijing, the two countries held the third meeting of a joint working group on “Cooperation on Industrial Parks in India”.
“Presentations were made on investment opportunities available under Make in India and the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor,” the Indian embassy said in a statement.
The working group assessed progress in existing and proposed Chinese investment projects and explored further steps to encourage investment for setting up industrial parks in India, it said.
The Indian delegation was led by Ravneet Kaur, joint secretary, department of industrial policy and promotion in the commerce ministry, and the Chinese side by Li Shaotong, deputy director general, department of outward investment in the commerce ministry.
At the Huzhou seminar, India was represented by several companies based in Shanghai which pitched for the flow of Chinese investment to the Make in India programme. Huzhou’s trade with India is a reflection of larger Sino-Indian trade - the balance of trade is in Beijing’s favour. In 2015, Huzhou did trade worth some $ 370 million with India and the city’s imports were $ 37.81 million.
In the first three quarters of 2016, Huzhou’s imports from India touched $ 21.26 million. The main imports were textile raw materials, textile products and plastic products, data shared by CCPIT showed. Three Indian companies, including a joint venture between the Tata group and a Chinese tea company, have a presence in Huzhou.
“The fact that 200 Chinese companies attended the seminar showed that local investors are keen to invest in India,”Yang said. “Trading companies from Huzhou are especially interested in going to India. There is every reason to go to India for Chinese investors.”
Giving a presentation at the event, Nagaraj Naidu, director general, Investment Trade and Promotion Division of the external affairs ministry, said the government is ready to help Chinese investors set up shop in India.
An MoU was signed between the Shanghai representative office of the Confederation of Indian Industry and CCPIT, Huzhou, to promote bilateral commercial exchanges.