India’s attempts to protect domestic industries from overseas competition may offer short-term benefits but will eventually hinder New Delhi’s industrial development, a Chinese daily said on Tuesday. “The list of Chinese products covered by India’s trade remedy investigations is getting ever longer, expanding from garments, glass, minerals and other low-end items to advanced products such as new materials and machinery,” a Global Times report said. It said that on July 21, India announced that it would launch an anti-dumping investigation into photovoltaic (PV) cells and units from China, Taiwan and Malaysia. The investigation was the latest of a series of probes launched by India against Chinese goods this year, it said.
Amid a rise in bilateral trade, India initiated 12 investigations against Chinese products in the first half of this year, becoming the country with the most trade remedy probes against China, the daily said. Wang Hejun, head of China’s Ministry of Commerce’s trade remedy and investigation bureau, has urged India to avoid abusing trade remedy measures and said bilateral trade disputes should be settled through consultation. “There are other explanations behind the intensified trade conflicts between India and China. After years of development, India’s industries have made progress, and many companies in India now produce items that could compete with those from China,” the Global Times said.
“Chinese producers still have the upper hand but it seems understandable for the Indian government to be eager to protect local industries. “But it is wrong to resort to trade remedy measures to drive Chinese products out of the local market.”
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The daily said that without outside competitive pressure, local industries would be less motivated to invest in technical innovation to reduce costs and improve quality. That won’t be conducive to the long-term development of the industry. “India should also open up to foreign competition to facilitate the development of domestic manufacturing,” it said.