Chinese companies in India’s financial hub of Mumbai are gradually coming together to form what will be an Association of Chinese Companies. Similar to New Delhi’s Chindia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which represents over 110 Chinese firms in India, the association will lobby for common rights within India, will cooperate with Indian associations and will share best practices honed from across sectors, over years. Reflecting the Indian Association in Shanghai, a group of like minded individuals and companies who gather for business and social events, in China’s financial capital, the Chinese associations are only open to membership by Chinese companies.
In developing economies where freight is fraught and torrid trade disputes stretch on tirelessly, it becomes important for companies from one nation to club together to understand their host nation better and gain a sense of brotherhood in an alien land. While our bilateral trade might be Inchin towards the US$100 billion mark sooner than expected, there is yet so much we need to understand about each other. Our governments might shake hands in the capital and yet point the barrel of a gun on our borders. Our markets are keen to explode into each other, take advantage of our synergies and make the most of our billion plus populations, yet creating a body of commonness is key.
Like Indian firms eager to bite a chunk of the Chinese economy five years ago, Chinese companies are today keen to capture their share of the Indian market. Replete with the manufacturing and technical skills, engineering companies from across the bamboo curtain are especially eager to break into the expanding Indian marketplace. At a time when consumer interests have peaked, tastes are more discerning and choices harder to make, China is looking at her younger sister for support. Jumping over red tape, overcoming government laxity and turning a blind eye to corruption, Chinese firms in India are staring the bull in eye and challenging him. Many are keen to stick on because they see a bright future, that one day the Indian government will look at them more favorably, one day the biases against a made in China product will evaporate and that one day the market would be theirs, they’ve done it everywhere else including Africa, so why should India be so difficult?
Firms in both countries have it tough. Hopefully, a sense of working together over the next few years, our hared histories and common cultures would tide us through, creating more value and wealth for us all.