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FORMER Indian ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale on Saturday pitched for a determined push to boost Indian software and pharmaceutical exports to China.
“If the Chinese open up to these exports from India, they can get quality products at very competitive costs and India can cut down its adverse balance of payments,” he told a seminar on “Engaging China” organised by think–tank CENERS–K and the Indian Chamber of Commerce.
Bambawale said the Sino–Indian annual bilateral trade now stood at 95 billion US dollars.
“But the balance of payments hugely favoured China because our exports were primary products or mineral ores and Chinese exports were finished industrial products,” he said.
We can make up the deficit if China opens its markets for our software and medicines. Many Chinese want cheaper but very effective Indian medicines, especially the cancer drugs, so Beijing should ease the import control regime on these products
That, he said, had to change.
“We can make up the deficit if China opens its markets for our software and medicines. Many Chinese want cheaper but very effective Indian medicines, especially the cancer drugs, so Beijing should ease the import control regime on these products,” Bambawale said.
He called on Indian companies to tap the Chinese tourist traffic.
With 150 million outbound visits from Chinese tourists in 2018, this was a huge market.
“Even if we tap one percent of this traffic, we get 1.5 million high spending tourists. That would be a huge boost to our tourism earnings,” Bambawale said.
Observing that the two neighbours have a great potential of working together, Chinese consul general in Kolkata Zha Liyon said China has the second largest economy while India has the third largest.
Inviting Indian businesses to invest in trade, commerce and industries in the neighbouring Yunnan province, Liyon said there are opportunities in manufacturing, food processing and tourism sectors. ■