It’s the largest show of Indian confidence in the Chinese economy and the Asian century – 35 Indian companies are strutting their stuff at the Canton Fair, China’s largest export – import fair, held every four months in the Southern city of Guang zhou. Boosted by China’s promise to open its markets further to foreign goods, and encouraged by the purchasing zeal of Chinese consumers, Indian companies are excited for the prospects the market holds.
The five day fair which started on Sunday, had 70 booths as part of the Indian pavilion displaying everything from carpets, leather goods, household items, coir mats, hand tools, ceramic tiles, submersible pumps, inverters and batteries, stainless steel kitchenware, PVC pipes, air coolers and pressure cookers. More than 200,000 foreign buyers will come to the fair (April 15-19), while 104,000 domestic exporters have also applied to attend, according to a news release from the fair.
“We estimate that the value of orders placed by overseas buyers will maintain the record of $37.9 billion set in the autumn session of the 110th Canton Fair last year,” the Deputy Director-General of the China Foreign Trade Centre, Mr Liu Jianjun, said. China’s GDP grew a less-than-expected 8.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, the least in almost three years after an 8.9 percent gain in the fourth quarter, as export and domestic demand cooled, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday. The nation reported a moderated import growth of 5.3 percent in March from a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs said on Tuesday, and exports rose 8.9 percent year-on-year.
While the rest of the world warms up to better economic prospects, China expects her exports to realign with earlier levels. Additionally, domestic consumption has also risen over the past few years as purchasing power and disposable incomes rise. The Economist recently published a research finding displaying Chinese grocery consumption increased by 14 percent to overtake the US. China is now the world’s largest consumer of grocery goods; while Indians who spend less than a dollar a day on groceries are the lowest on the chart.
While India-China bilateral trade has sky rocketed due to sweeter ties in the past few years, India’s trade deficit with China remains higher than US$20 billion. The Indian government has been constantly lobbying with Beijing to open their markets further to enable a more equitable trade, hopefully these 35 Indian companies, will be the precursor of good things to come!