Reliability of China as trade partner questionable, says Indian trade body chief

New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaWritten By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: Jun 23, 2021, 02:20 PM IST

File photo. Photograph:(Reuters)

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The 100-year-old national business chamber represents companies from Northern India and has a special focus on the MSME sector.

The president of India's PHD Chamber of Commerce has said that the "reliability of China as a trade partner" is "questionable" even as visa issuance by the country remains an issue.

Travelling to China has not been possible for Indian nationals since last November as the Chinese side has suspended existing visas.

Sanjay Aggarwal, speaking to WION, said, "I think, for the Chinese government, this approach is not in their own interest. I think they are just proving the point when we talk of a nation, not trying to be dependent on China but then individual businessmen suffer the issue of actual trade getting various issues, payment issues, material stuck due to non-issue of visas."

Earlier this year in March, the Chinese embassy issued a notification that visas will be given to only those who have taken China-made vaccines, putting a barrier as no Chinese vaccines have been approved by the Indian government.

"The reliability of China as a trade partner itself is questionable. So I think, they are basically trying to either have an attitude that we have built up our economy enough by pretending to be very open to now a stage to punish whoever we wish to," Aggarwal explained adding, "If that is their line of thinking, so be it. It is not to their advantage. Indian businessmen may suffer in the short term for the individual issue but they will learn for future on their dependency."

This is the first such comment by any national chamber over trade with China and the risks involved amid China's continued presence at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.

China is India's one of largest trading partners but the trade deficit which is in favour of China has been a cause of worry for India. In fact, it is the single biggest trade deficit India has with any country. India's dependence on China has been a cause of worry for which the chamber called for incentives from the government for Indian businesses.

The president of the PDH Chamber of Commerce highlighted, "China, is not exactly a friendly country. We have to be looked at from a national security perspective also in addition to just commercial. We need to find innovative ways to drastically and progressively reduce our dependence on China."

The 100-year-old national business chamber represents companies from northern India and has a special focus on the MSME sector. Aggarwal called for easy availability of credit amid the impact of the Covid crisis and the fast release of payments by the government to MSMEs.