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(Global Times) Even if US companies move their manufacturing bases from China to India as reported, it is not necessarily a bad thing as the two Asian giants could cooperate in the Indian market or even third markets, analysts said. |
With China's strength in manufacturing and India's advantage in industries such as information technology, the two economies are complementary and have great potential for further cooperation, analysts said.
The comment came as a Press Trust of India (PTI) report said over the weekend that about 200 US companies are seeking to move their manufacturing bases from China to India, citing a top US-based advocacy group.
Mukesh Aghi, president of the US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum, said that the US companies are talking to the group about how to set up an alternative to China by investing in India, according to the PTI report.
"Amid China's efforts at an industrial transformation and upgrading, it's a trend that some manufacturing companies will move out of China to countries elsewhere in Asia, including India," Long Xingchun, a senior research fellow with the Charhar Institute and director of the Center for Indian Studies at China West Normal University, told the Global Times on Sunday.
Long further noted that with the fast development of the Indian economy, its efforts to improving the business environment, and low labor costs, companies from China will also go to the country to tap its market potential.
India is now the fastest-growing economy in the world. According to a World Bank forecast, India's GDP growth is expected to accelerate to 7.5 percent in fiscal 2019-2020.
In 2018, the country led the world's major economies with an estimated growth rate of 7.3 percent, as noted in the IMF's latest outlook in January, compared with China's GDP growth of 6.6 percent in 2018.
Analysts noted India has been ramping up efforts to attract foreign investors amid its "Make in India" strategy, and it has been turning to China for advice in recent years.
Srikanth Kondapalli, chairman of the Centre for East Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, told the Global Times in a recent interview that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been calling on Indian officials to "learn from China" in terms of the Chinese experience to attract investment and develop the manufacturing sector.
Before becoming prime minister, Modi was the head of India's Gujarat, which has the nickname of "India's Guangdong." South China's Guangdong Province is a vital manufacturing hub and has succeeded in attracting foreign investors in the manufacturing sector.
Subramanian Swamy, a leader of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, told the Global Times that India could learn from China's manufacturing expertise in making airplanes, jet engines and high-speed trains and the methodology that makes those industries so productive.
Though progress has been made, analysts said the South Asian country's infrastructure facilities and associated supply chains are still far behind those of China and may make it hard for India to become the world's manufacturing hub for some time to come. That's where China has experience and could offer help.
Hu Bofeng, a People's Daily reporter based in New Delhi, said that trend of relocation could be a part of a greater shift of manufacturing from China to Southeast Asia and South Asia.
There aren't many US manufacturing companies in India but the trend is accelerating among profit-conscious multinationals, according to Hu.
"While many Chinese companies that have moved their plants to India have indeed found the low-cost labor they seek, they also frown on the low skills of Indian labor. The rate of defective products is markedly higher than back in China," Hu told the Global Times on Sunday.
"They have to grapple with legal issues, taxation, land use and labor force quality issues when they come to India. These issues that have rattled international investors for a long time are not likely to be solved soon," Hu said.
Long cautioned that low efficiency would be another major barrier when these companies entered into the Indian market, a big contrast to China. "At least for now, foreign companies might be fully aware that China remains their favorite choice with its complete infrastructure facilities, full supply chains and advanced logistics ability."