Increased trade boycott rhetoric will only weigh on India’s economy


Illustration: Tang Tengfei/Global Times

As India hosts a major festival of the year, Diwali on November 4, some non-governmental organizations in the country have once again unleashed a wild wave of “Chinese product boycotts”.

The Confederation of All Indian Traders (CAIT) alleged in a statement on Friday that as the CAIT has called for a boycott of Chinese imports, it is certain that China will suffer a trade loss of about 500 billion rupees ( $6.67 billion) in terms of stopping the importation of Chinese goods by Indian traders.

India has been importing Diwali-related goods from China and other countries for years, but rising Sino-Indian trade appears to anger anti-China groups in India, and a ‘boycott of Chinese goods’ is near. become a regular program before Diwali. .

CAIT’s repeated call for a boycott of Chinese products stems from its nationalist sentiment. They use the campaign to express their dissatisfaction with China. And, there are various forces, including Indian politicians and local businessmen, who hope to gain benefits by boycotting Chinese products.

Chinese products are of good quality and competitively priced, making them a very profitable choice for Indian traders and consumers. In recent years, China-India economic and trade relations have continued to grow stronger. It can be said that Chinese products are popular among Indians.

However, since the Sino-Indian border clash in mid-2019, some Indian forces have spared no effort to call for a boycott of Chinese products. However, the development of two-way trade between China and India continues to increase steadily, and many Indian companies depend on supplies from China.

In the first nine months of this year, China-India trade reached $90.37 billion, up 49.3 percent year on year, according to data released by the General Administration of China Customs on Oct. 13. . China’s exports to India reached $68.46 billion, up 51.7%. .

Although India’s boycott of Chinese products is to some extent a call to boost its national economy by developing its own manufacturing base, India is unable to provide its consumers with cost-effective products.

According to data released by the International Monetary Fund, India’s GDP contracted by an unprecedented 7.3% in the last financial year which ended in March 2021. Now, the India urgently needs to revive its economy from the fallout of COVID-19, develop its own manufacturing industry and promote economy-wide industrial upgrading. If India can let go of its prejudices and engage in mutually beneficial economic cooperation with China, it will benefit India which remains largely poverty stricken.

In fact, the economic relationship between China and India is asymmetrical. India’s vulnerability and dependence on trade is far greater than that of China. China’s exports to India represent only a small portion of its total exports, and any resistance from India is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the Chinese economy.

If CAIT’s irrational call for anti-Chinese continues, it will hurt India more than China. Ultimately, this will only harm the interests of Indian businessmen and consumers. It is foolish to repeatedly insist on boycotting Chinese products, and seeking mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation is the right option for India.

The author is a research assistant at the National Institute of International Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. [email protected]


Comments are closed.