The recent ‘India Show’ organized by industry lobby The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in Beijing, China, in October, showcased the Indian potential to the Chinese market. The potential for joint trade between the two countries was also discussed at the event.
“From very modest beginnings, China has become India’s largest trade partner and India is China’s seventh largest export destination,” said India’s ambassador to China S. Jaishankar.
Bilateral trade between India and China in the previous financial year was $74 billion and is steadily growing. Market access for Indian companies is a major concern and that is precisely why it is important that so many Indian businesses prefer to foray into China.
“China must not be looked upon as a threat or challenge. Manufacturers in the two countries should work together. In this bid, SMEs need to prepare themselves by stepping up their focus on R&D, manufacturing processes, efficiency of the production line and so on. And most of all, they must spend time to understand the requirements of their international customers,” said Vinnie Mehta, executive director, Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA).
“We are doing business internationally. We manufacture motors for global OEMs. We ensure quality standards and hence have good business relationships with foreign OEMs. I believe that our business would fare better if I collaborate with Chinese manufacturers instead of competing with them directly. Although I would be interested in exploring an avenue for collaboration but I am not sure how to move ahead,” said Rishi Tyagi, a manufacturer of motors and based in Delhi. Tyagi runs Venus Motors.
Inter-governmental synergies are probably required in this direction in order create a favourable ecosystem for these two fast developing countries, which can learn from one another and work towards complementing each other’s strength for mutual benefit.
Engagement between the two countries can be catalysed by government agencies on either side -- through joint economic groups (JEGs) and strategic economic dialogues (SEDs). All of this may not take much of time given that a lot of work has already started in this direction, said Mehta.
Cumulative Chinese investments into India till December, 2011 were $575.7 million and Indian investments into China stood at $441.7 million, according to Chinese government data. Indian manufacturing companies are setting up factories in China, in their bid to be global players in their respective sectors.
More than 200 Indian companies are currently present in China to better engage with the local market and explore new areas of cooperation.
Speaking at the ‘India Show’ in Beijing, Asit Tripathy, joint secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India mentioned that India gives great importance to its economic relations with China and the target of $100 billion in bilateral trade by 2015 would not be difficult to achieve.