Cold Sino-Indo relations affecting trade: Consul

The tension in relations between India and China caused a setback in trade relations between the two countries as the number of business delegations from China has gone down considerably in the last one year.

Chinese Consul General based in Kolkata, Mao Siwei, said this on the sidelines of an interactive session between a delegation of pharmaceutical companies from Hubei province of China and members of the Bharat Chamber of Commerce at a hotel in Kolkata.

"The media hype about the Sino-Indo relations, that a war was imminent between the two countries, affected the relations. As a result, we have seen fewer delegations from China in the recent past. I am telling them that India is not our enemy. I am telling them to come here in larger numbers. We can work together for our prosperity," Mao said.

He also said despite the strain, China remained India's biggest trade partner followed by the USA. "Last year, the volume of trade between India and China was $ 34 billion, while that between India and USA was $31 billion," the diplomat said.

According to him, the number of people visiting China from the eastern region has also increased. "The total number of visas issued for China from Kolkata was 13,000, while last year, the figure stood at around 7,000," Mao said. An eight-member team, led by LI Bin of Hubei Pharmaceutical Profession Association, had close interaction with members of the chamber, in which they explored areas of investment in each other's country.

President of the chamber, Pavan Poddar, said there was a lot of scope for co-operation in the pharmaceutical industry.

"China is internationally known as a country having a strong base of traditional herbal drugs and exchange of information and joint ventures in the herbal pharma products hold a lot of potential," Poddar said.

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