Journal : Global Times (Chinese) Date : Author : HQSB correspondent Hu Bofeng Page No. : 4

According to local media reports in India, since September 1, all children’s toys imported into India will have to comply with the country’s “quality control standards.” For commodities that do not meet this standard, the Indian quality inspection department will have powers to refuse customs clearance to their importers. On August 30, Indian Prime Minister Modi stated in a live broadcast that India could become an important global toy production base in the future. Since the Sino-Indian border standoff in May this year, the Indian Government has tried various ways to keep Chinese companies and funds away from the Indian market. Indian people have also set off a wave of “boycott made in China” campaigns. In fact, however, “if there is no ‘Made in China’, Indian society may come to a halt instantaneously,” said Mustafa, a professor at the University of Hyderabad in India, to a reporter from the Huan Qiu Shi Bao. He pointed to his desk and explained: “The computer I use is ‘Made in China’, the mouse is’ Made in China’, and the key board is also ‘Made in China’… If there is no ‘Made in China’, I will be the first to lose my job”.

Mustafa believes that the present is an era of globalization, and for many ordinary consumers, cost-effectiveness is the primary consideration for shopping, “and Chinese goods have the dual attributes of good quality and low price”. He said that China has more and more skilled industrial workers, and the average production efficiency of a single product is 1.6 times that of India. Moreover, the concept of “equality between men and women” has been deeply rooted in China. The female labor force participation rate in China is as high as 70%, but this ratio is only 34% in India. In addition, China also has advanced science and technology, a huge industrial cluster and a mature market environment. But he also bluntly said that although China’s manufacturing industry is far ahead of India, the latter also has its advantages, such as the average age of the population is nearly 12 years younger than China (38.4 years old in China, 26.8 years old in India), high English penetration, low labor costs, etc. . In Mustafa’s view, “Made in India” has a chance to be equal to “Made in China”, “but it will take some time.”Awasthi is the owner of an Indian company engaged in the import and trade of flat glass. He said that due to the multiple effects of the new corona epidemic, the domestic economic downturn in India and the “boycott of Chinese goods” movement, this year, he had to drastically reduce his imports from China. He said that the quality of products imported from mainland China is better than similar products produced in Southeast Asian countries and Taiwan, and the prices are relatively fair. He told reporters that if India in the future cracks down on products from China in disguised as raising of tariffs or on the plea of quality standards, “it will consider other alternative channels. After all, glass can be made anywhere.”However, many of the “Made in China” exports to India also have their own “one-of-a-kind tricks”, such as raw materials, electronic components, and automobile tires. After the Sino-Indian border confrontation, the Indian government suddenly included car tyres in the restricted import category, but three months down the line, many local and foreign automakers in India are idling and finding it difficult to sit still. According to the Mint newspaper of India, in order to alleviate the production tensions of Hyundai, Honda, Skoda, Bajaj (local Indian car companies) and other companies have obtained licenses for importing car tyres from China and other countries from the General Administration of Foreign Trade of India, who decided to issue them. According to the report, India does not have the production capacity for some car tyres importable from China.

According to the United Nations International Commodity Trade Statistics Database, India imported about 68.4 billion U.S. dollars worth of goods from China in 2019, of which electronic equipment, mechanical parts, organic chemicals, plastic products and fertilizers occupied the top five positions. If India really decides to completely “decouple” from China economically and prohibit the import of these Chinese products, it may be difficult to achieve self-sufficiency in a short period of time, and it will be difficult to find an alternative source with a price-performance ratio comparable to “Made in China” in the short run.

Indian reporter Thakur told the Huan Qiu Shi Bao reporter that looking around, from mobile phones to hair dryers, almost everything in daily usage is related to “Made in China” in some way or the other. “Some of them may not be directly imported from China. But you will always find that at least a few parts come from China.” She said that in addition to the visible and tangible things such as mobile phones, computers, toys and light bulbs, India’s largest digital payment platform Paytm, well-known online shopping website Big Basket, food delivery app Zomato, online car-hailing platform Ola, and e-commerce firm Flipkart and the education start-up Byju’s all have Chinese investment. “If they really ‘boycott Made in China’, then these so-called local Indian companies will also (have to) be boycotted all together”.

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