IT, pharmaceuticals and tourism key to ties: Experts

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping concluded the second informal Summit at Mamallapuram, experts expressed the opinion that three sectors — information technology, pharmaceutical
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping, at Fisherman’s Cove in Mamallapuram (Photo | PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping, at Fisherman’s Cove in Mamallapuram (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI:  India and China, at the conclusion of the two-day Chennai Conclave, called for enhanced trade ties between the two ties and also decided to set up a new, elevated mechanism for the same. Experts are of the opinion that three sectors — information technology, pharmaceuticals and tourism — will play an important role in boosting bilateral economic ties.

According to experts, pharma is an important sector that the Chinese can look to tap from the Indian markets.

“The Indian pharma sector is far more superior to the Chinese one. Our generic drugs and other medicines are of far better quality but due to the restrictions imposed by the Chinese on the Indian medicines, the Indian investments in these sectors in the neighbouring country are very low,” former diplomat Kishan Rana said.

The Chinese government imposes a non-tariff barrier on Indian drugs, making their sale in the Chinese market difficult. 

According to Indians officials, making a niche in the Chinese market for pharma products becomes all the more difficult as the Chinese refuse to accept international certification by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA).

The labelling, which is in English, is also an issue as the Chinese want it in their native language.

The information and technology (IT) market is also another sector that the Chinese must look for investments as their rivalry with the US does not permit the bigwigs of the sector like Google, WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter to set up base.

“Information and Technology is the easiest market where India can make headway in China. Firstly, the competition is less and secondly because we have all the expertise required. Bigwigs like Infosys, TCS and Wipro should look eastwards towards China for expansion,” a research scholar from the Indian council of World Affairs (ICWA) said.

The third most important market that the Chinese must look to tap from their Indian counterparts is tourism. Experts say that the population and the size of the two countries will help play a pivotal part in the mutual improvement of the two countries in this sector.

“Indians number among the largest travellers in the world. The Chinese should look into tapping this section of the Indian population by providing incentives to them. Some of the incentives could include free or subsided visa fees. Also, the scenic and vast landscapes of the country could be used to improve the tourism sector,” Rana said. 

Other experts hailed Chinese President Xi Jinping’s idea of promoting homestays. “The idea is a good one. What it does is that while improving footfall of tourists, it also exposes them to native Chinese culture. Indians are naturally attracted to culture and by opening the doors of homes to Indian tourists, the Chinese can tap tourism while generating more revenue from it,” a senior official of a popular travel website said. 

PM greets President Xi in Tamil

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi again turned to Tamil in welcoming Chinese President Xi Jinping. “Vannakam! Emmakke varugai Virundhae!”, the PM said while addressing the Chinese President at the Fisherman’s Cove.

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