Tamil Nadu and China are a natural fit when it comes to anything to do with business, says Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII.
Talks on trade and economic ties could include new opportunities in emerging sectors such as renewable energy, electric vehicles, life sciences, manufacturing and so on. Technology-rich sectors of electronics, machinery and equipment and others can greatly benefit from cooperation between the two countries. Indian companies are known for innovation and competitiveness, while Chinese companies bring scale and volume to the table. Together, they can jointly deliver exciting products and business models for meeting the rising imperatives of sustainability and energy efficiency.
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India’s rapid infrastructure development strategy of $130 bn over the next five years will also attract Chinese companies. India is strategising on how best to leverage enhanced Chinese interest in its dynamic markets, including in manufacturing for export markets and for infrastructure.
We believe China can engage in India’s economy on a sustainable basis and avail of long-term opportunities in India’s growth. It would greatly benefit from ensuring that Indian goods access its large markets as well. Today, Indian products find a place across the world in both advanced and emerging economies and China is already India’s third-largest export destination. However, given the large volume of goods that India sources from China, it would do well to enhance its purchases of Indian products. CII is working with Chinese entities to encourage investments in India’s manufacturing sectors.
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In the high-tech sector, China is making progress and has the highest number of patent applications annually. India too has key strengths with about 1200 global design and research centres located here, including from China. India’s competitive engineering talent can connect with Chinese high-tech firms for product development, innovation and design in the areas of green products as well as advanced manufacturing.
The services sectors are a key area of opportunity. Currently, services trade between the two countries stands at about $2.5 billion and this can be greatly expanded. China is one of the largest outbound tourist source countries, and India should collaborate with it to develop better tourist infrastructure that can cater to the growing numbers of overseas Chinese travellers.
In the life sciences space, we see several sectors of cooperation. India imports a high proportion of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) from China, and is one of the largest producers of generic drugs for the world. We can cater to Chinese markets at a low cost, and China can actually set up API facilities in India to benefit from this. Clinical trials, drug development, and bio-tech can be other sectors of opportunity, apart from huge interest of China in India’s wellness sectors of yoga and Ayurveda.
Several key projects are being developed in the infrastructure sector. India has also welcomed Chinese investments, including in real estate development, startups, and project development. Trade issues are being consistently discussed with Chinese authorities where sustainability and balanced trade are top of the agenda. CII has consistently provided inputs towards market access issues which have been well taken by the Government. Under the current circumstances of global trade, CII feels that China would be more open to suggestions and collaborations from India and Indian industry, which would be mutually beneficial.
- Chennai is one of the top start-up hubs of the country, while manufacturing corridors are vibrant across TN
- We believe that TN can attract Chinese investments in electronics and smart phones, renewable energy equipment, automotives, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals, among other sectors
- As Chinese investments in India increase rapidly, we can certainly expect TN to be a prime destination