Indian biz leader urges China, India to boost economic ties

Atul Dalakoti, the FICCI executive director, said “There's a win-win when we trade more, when our economies are more connected to each other.”


This photo shows a fountain square in front of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) International Conference Center in Boao, south China's Hainan province on Mar 27, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

March 29, 2023

BEIJING – As two of the engines of global growth, China and India need to strengthen their economic ties, according to an official of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Atul Dalakoti, FICCI executive director, said the two countries should focus on increasing their bilateral trade and work closely to grow their economies, as well as expand their exchange of products and services.

“There’s a win-win when we trade more, when we invest in each other, when our economies are more connected to each other,” Dalakoti said at the Boao Forum in Hainan province.

Dalakoti said it is important for the world to pay attention to the recent spate of banking crises in Silicon Valley in the US and Europe, which seem to be escalating

Dalakoti said it is important for the world to pay attention to the recent spate of banking crises in Silicon Valley in the US and Europe, which seem to be escalating.

“I think economically, the three-year COVID (pandemic) has had an impact.

“So how we are going to move forward, how we are going to increase bilateral trade, increase investments, and what role China is going to play in this whole thing, I think that’s a very important question which everybody wants to learn more about,” he said.

Dalakoti added that people should work with like-minded people, governments and companies to look at the great opportunities available to create a win-win situation, economic growth, green growth, and take a lot of people out of poverty in many nations. “I think (that is) the desire of all of us,” he said.

He noted that bilateral trade between India and China was moving towards the $200 billion figure in 2022.

“Together, we have 2.8 billion people, and we are neighbours for good,” Dalakoti said. “So, we need to work on our relationship. We need to make it better, be more economically engaged with each other, have more investments and trade more.”

At the same time, he noted that India has a demographic advantage because it has a younger population, which in itself offers a great opportunity for the nation.

Dalakoti said that almost one in every two Indians has one Chinese mobile phone, with brands such as Xiaomi, VIVO, OPPO being popular in India. This suggests that Indians welcome Chinese products, he added

“We should trade more. China should also diversify its import basket (to) India… A lot can be done. I think the sky is the limit for these two countries.”

He added that in the 17th and 18th century workers of the two countries were contributing 75 percent of the world economy, “and today we are getting back to that situation”.

Dalakoti said that the expectation from this year’s Boao Forum is that people want a lot of clarity on the major issues facing the world today.

This means “clarity of what is the way forward, clarity of what are the challenges and if there are any solutions available, how they should be looked at and with the focus on the economic part.”

Dalakoti said it is great to be back in Boao this year following the lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions after three years. He added that it is good to see friends at the forum again, to discuss the challenges facing the world, and how to develop the economies of the countries that they represent.

“(The) getting together of minds and talking in a nice environment – I think that is the best thing which can happen for all of us,” the director said.

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