India Inc sheds China scare
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India Inc sheds China scare

India Inc no longer perceives Chinese dragon as a business threat, but is setting up manufacturing facilities there to tap local market.

india Updated: Jun 20, 2003 12:01 IST

Forgotten are the days when Indian companies perceived the Chinese dragon as a business threat.

With India's exports to China on a double-digit growth, a slew of new efforts to boost bilateral trade and investment will be unveiled on both sides during Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to China from June 22 to 27.

The game plan is to help Indian companies get a firm foothold in what is being seen as the land of opportunity where bilateral trade could be doubled from $5 billion to $10 billion in the next three years.

"With China scare (of being swamped by cheap goods) proving baseless and Indian exports finding a bigger market there, every month for the last two years we have been hearing of new companies trying to set up base in China for manufacturing, outsourcing or exporting products," Confederation of Indian Industry's (CII) deputy director general, Ajay Khannatold IANS.

As many as 40 Indian companies currently have operations in China.

Capitalising on this interest, the CII is gearing to roll out plans to hold two concurrent exhibitions 'Made In India' and 'India-China Hi-tech Show' in Beijing from October 16-19, within months of opening its new East Asia office in Shanghai on June 26.

Led by CII president Anand Mahindra, a 30-member delegation representing a diversified group comprising automobile, IT, chemicals, pharma, banking, steel, engineering, manufacturing and tourism sectors will be visiting China to mark the official launch of an 'India Club Shanghai'.

With at least 40 state-owned and private companies as members, the club will help members set up year-round exhibitions at Shanghai Mart, a major commercial venue for buyer-sellers meets and exhibitions, which will also house the CII office.

CII will also be hosting, jointly with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), a business meeting at Beijing on June 24 to be addressed by Vajpayee.

"We have been working for sometime to help Indian companies identify potential in China and have earmarked several areas of synergy for promoting bilateral trade," saidFICCI's additional secretary general, Krishan Kalra.

"With no justification for fears about dumping of Chinese goods in the Indian market, we feel Vajpayee's visit will certainly give a boost to increasing bilateral trade, which has grown five-fold in the last one year," said Kalra.

A 20-member team led by FICCI vice-president YK Modi "will be attending the India-China joint business council (JBC) meeting, call-on meetings besides one-to-one interactions. This would be a major step in boosting bilateral ties," said Kalra.

The JBC meeting is being held by FICCI in association with its counterpart China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and prominent Chinese publication Business Week.

Led by National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), the Indian business lobby will also be hosting an IT meet in Shanghai on June 26.

While striving to bridge information gaps through its China operations, CII has decided to launch a India-China CEO forum with 15 major representatives on both sides "which will meet annually to discuss strategy on how to bring the business community of both the countries closer," said Khanna.

Seeing tremendous opportunity for boosting joint ventures and collaborations, Khanna said over the last one year Indian companies have been able to make a dent in the Chinese market even with manufactured goods, belying the belief that Indian products are not competitive.

"We are seeking great amount of Chinese interest in sourcing not only hi-tech products from India but also manufactured products like steel and auto components. The demand will grow, once there is friendship on both sides. The CEOs forum will help to foster this," said Khanna.

First Published: Jun 14, 2003 14:43 IST