NEW DELHI: Against the backdrop of detention of Indian traders in Yiwu of China, Home Minister P Chidambaram said India’s trade with its neighbour was on the rise and ‘instead of envying the country we should emulate China’.
Downplaying the competition between the two countries, Chidambaram said both the countries were fairly large and should meet the challenges on equal terms.
“We should not fear competition from China. There is no reason to envy China. If at all we should try to emulate China,” he said in a statement at the 7th North East Business Summit organised by the Ministry of Development of North East Region. The Home Minister said China had emerged as the country’s single largest trading partner. Chidambaram’s statement has come at a time when furore broke out over the detention of some Indian businessmen in Yiwu.
Even though the Indians were subsequently released, India issued advisory asking Indian traders to stay away from the commercial
hub. Indian diplomat S Balachandran was also manhandled at a Chinese court as he tried to secure the release of the two traders on December 31, prompting strong protest from India.
“China, a competitor, challenges us to compete in equal terms,” Chidambaram said. Exhorting India to emulate China, the Home Minister said that if Beijing was able to bring world class railway line up to Tibet, India should be able to build world class road across the northeastern states. Chidambaram also asked businessmen across the country to look at the ‘enormous and limitless’ business opportunities in the northeast.
“Seize the opportunities of the northeast, grow businesses and help these states to grow along with the rest of India,” he said.