SOURCE: INDIA TODAY
Mainland China’s exports to India since January 2020 have fallen by 24.7 per cent year-on-year to $32.28 billion, customs data from the Chinese government has shown. This comes at a time when the call to boycott Chinese products has amplified sharply in India since May after the India-China border face-off in Galwan.
China’s imports from India have also gone up 6.7 per cent since January this year to $11.09 billion. Consequently, total trade with India has registered a slightly lower 18.6 per cent drop since the beginning of 2020 to at $43.47 billion. However, in July China’s exports saw a slight jump to $5.6 billion, up from $4.79 billion in June, 2020.
Since the Galwan clash, India has been working on policies to scrutinise and stymie influx of Chinese goods into the country. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) announced restrictions on import of television sets late in July to encourage local manufacturing. In the financial year 2019-20, India had imported TV sets worth $300 million from China and $400 million from Vietnam. The total value of imported TV sets during last fiscal stood at $781 million.
India is also considering measures to prevent trade partners, mainly in Southeast Asia, from re-routing Chinese goods to India with little added value, according to a Reuters report. This move will mainly target imports of base metals, electronic components for laptops and mobile phones, furniture, leather goods, toys, rubber, textiles, air conditioners and televisions, among other items.
Meanwhile, Chinese smartphones’ share in Indian marked fell to 72 per cent during the June quarter 2020 from 81 per cent in March quarter 2020. Xiaomi, a market leader in India, is working on a new version of MIUI that will omit its proprietary applications banned by the government.
The government is also planning to impose licensing requirements for import of goods from 20 sectors, including furniture, toys, sports goods, textiles, air conditioners, leather, footwear, agro-chemicals, CCTVs, ready-to-eat food, steel, aluminium, electric vehicles, auto components, TV set-top boxes, ethanol, copper and bio fuels, to boost local manufacturing of these items.
Reports have suggested that India is also looking to hike customs duty on imported active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) by 10-15 per cent. The Indian pharmaceutical industry depends heavily on imports from China, with 68 per cent APIs and more than 90 per cent antibiotics being sourced from the neighbouring nation.