How boycotting China can backfire India

Shireen Singh

India also exports accounting for about 40% of the traditional power equipment market

There has been an urge by the government to boycott Chinese products for a few years now. But after the incident at Galwan Valley and India-China face off, there has been a wave of seriousness and alertness in the entire nation. The public of has been boycotting China and its product since then.

But the question rises, can India boycott Chinese products? Let’s consider some facts and think about it again.

  • India imports more than 16% of its goods from China.
  • Chinese goods are usually about 10% cheaper than their Indian counterparts.
  • On an average, Indian companies have to borrow at 11% whereas Chinese government banks lend to their companies at around 6%.
  • India imports items like transmission apparatus for radars, TV and cameras.
  • India also exports accounting for about 40% of the traditional power equipment market.
  • India imports diammonium phosphate, a crucial element in fertilisers to boost crop yield, from its neighbour.
  • India depends on China for items like personal protective equipment, ventilators, N95 masks, and other medical kits. With the current pandemic, these items have become even more crucial.
  • A lot of the components for cars like steering, electricals, interiors, brake systems, being manufactured within the country also come from China.

Considering the above facts, there is no doubt that China is a fierce competitor. If the Chinese companies in India would shut down, there would surely be a loss to China. But there would be a huge loss of employment in India and considering the Covid-19 situation, people are already on the verge of losing their jobs.

Even if we ban the products completely, let’s not forget that China only imports $2.5 billion worth from India, it can afford to buy from other countries and yet it’s GDP will not be impacted as much.

It would be rather difficult for India to find a replacement/substitute source which can match the cost and availability of Chinese goods.  This is the reason why Indian GDP will be more impacted in this scenario.

Since India is still a developing country and is in constant tension with China and the pandemic, we need to work way harder to compete with Chinese products. We need governments support in providing better infrastructure and by reducing the rate at which loans are given to Indian corporations. India would be able to boycott Chinese goods only when this gap is narrowed between the two countries.