India is encouraging its exporters to take advantage of the trade friction between Beijing and Washington, commerce ministry officials said yesterday.
While India has signed protocols with China to export several items, the actual exports need to be scaled up substantially and Indian exporters are being encouraged to take advantage of the recent developments in the US-China trade conflict, they said.
While some of India's concerns over the balance of trade have been addressed, more efforts are required for greater market penetration in China, they said.
India is hopeful of signing protocols for export of Indian soybean meals, cakes and pomegranates to China in the near future as these are in advanced stages of discussion.
India is also in negotiations with China for early announcement of Chinese import quotas for sugar and rice for 2019, so that Indian exporters are able to plan their shipment well in time, the officials said.
India's exports to China have grown after several years and the country is poised to achieve its highest-ever exports to China in the current fiscal year.
Between April and December last year, Indian exports were to the tune of $12.7 billion, closer to last year's $13.33 billion. The growth in exports has been driven by marine products, organic chemicals, plastics, petroleum products, grapes and rice.
The Indian commerce ministry has taken an initiative to identify and share with Indian exporters and other stakeholders the specific lines where the US would lose competitiveness in China and where India has an export potential.
Several back-to-back meetings with Chinese buyers were facilitated through the Indian embassy in Beijing. Chinese grape buyers were invited to visit Indian grape farms and related units under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority.
Recognising that the regulatory environment in China remains a challenge for Indian exporters, the ministry signed three protocols in the last financial year.
In light of the US duties on Chinese products, similar steps have been taken with regard to Indian exports to the US, the officials said.