“This will send a sad signal to foreign investors seeking predictability and transparency,” Mukesh Aghi, president of the US Strategic Partnership Forum in the United States (USISPF), said in a recent letter to Trade Secretary Anup Wadhawan.
Rising tensions led to border clashes in mid-June, prompting India to stall imports from China by delaying ports. This was followed by a ban on 59 Chinese applications, including popular ones such as TikTok.
The US-India Business Council (USIBC) requested a closed-door meeting with the Indian government to discuss the changing landscape of trade and investment during this time of “political” and “economic” uncertainty in a recent letter to Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, Department for the Promotion of Industry and Domestic Trade (DPIIT).
Movements such as slowing imports are “creating confusion” in the minds of the investor community, he said. While India aims to become a self-reliant manufacturing center for the world, there is a need for transparent and predictable political processes to lay the foundations of this ecosystem, he said.
To be safe, flooded with demands from the industry, the customs department has cleared shipments of some U.S. enterprises, as well as those of Samsung and others. Moreover, import restrictions are expected to be eased for more non-Chinese companies moving forward.
The escalating tensions, highlighted by Monday night’s ban on applications, have left foreign investors nervous about countries including the United States, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan nervous, as many of these countries were in the process of shifting capacity. their manufacturing and ingredients from China.
“So, first of all, there is the issue of inputs required for production in India which come from China and then there is the issue of companies that are looking at India as a destination for production,” said the executive of an American firm.
Beware of China’s reaction
The executive of another global manufacturing firm said it should not only relocate the factory and machinery and equipment worth thousands of crores, but also need a steady stream of inputs and people between the two countries. “We are unsure of how this will end. Will China impose retaliatory economic measures?”
Another senior executive at a global component supplier stressed that the Chinese government does not make it easy for companies to shift production overseas. “We are subject to rounds of questions from officials and procedures have become difficult for companies through carrot and stick measures. Now we are wondering if everything will get worse with this escalation of the conflict,” he said.
Vivan Sharan from Koan Advisory Group said India is working hard to shift global value chains from China, but the issue “needs to be addressed strategically and stagnant imports can erode confidence in the Indian market and undermine months of efforts to localized production “.
In its letter, USIBC said that items from China are required by local units to be fed into global supply chains, especially those serving Asian and Middle Eastern countries. “Thus, this action undermines efforts around Make in India and GoI (Indian government) efforts to attract additional global supply of investment,” she said.
The government recently announced mega incentives for production and export worth Rs 50,000 to attract major smartphone manufacturers like Samsung and Apple and suppliers of components such as Flextronic, Foxconn and Wistron to shift the base in India as it seeks to reduce dependence. from China and create its own production base.
Former Trade Secretary Rajiv Kher said China took more than 20 years to become a manufacturing hub and for India to be able to become independent, it would take about five years on average in target sectors. “We will have to choose and choose and until then, we will need imports from China,” he said.
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