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Indian traders prepare for border trade with China
February 3, 2014, 6:20 am

an economic corridor linking China with India, Bangladesh and Myanmar [Getty Images]

Beijing and New Delhi are also discussing an economic corridor linking China with India, Bangladesh and Myanmar [Getty Images]

Indian traders have urged early preparations for India-China border trade, which kicks off every year in June, to give them full time to do business.

Traders held a meeting in the state of Uttaranchal on Sunday and demanded that preparations be started in the month of May this year.

Due to delayed preparations by the administration, most of the time for trade gets wasted by administrative delay, they said. The border market is open for only six months of the year — opening in June and closing on November 30.

China-India border trade in Renqinggang market in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region posted a 23.3 per cent rise in 2013, Chinese officials said in December.

Renqinggang saw trade volume reach 86.8 million yuan (about $14.3 million), about 54 times that when the post reopened in 2006, according to official Chinese data.

Imports totaled 72.4 million yuan while exports were a mere 14.5 million yuan, official statistics suggest.

The Yadong customs was set up in May 1962, but was closed in October in the same year. China and India restarted border trade on July 6, 2006 through the Nathu La Pass, which rests at 4,545 meters above sea level and is wedged between China’s Yadong County of Tibetan Prefecture and Indian state of Sikkim.

India and China also opened two border trade markets – Renqinggang market in Yadong and Changgu mart in Sikkim.

Meanwhile bilateral trade touched $65.47 billion, a slight dip of 1.5 per cent, year-on-year, in 2013. It had declined to $66.7 billion 2012, from the all time high of around $74 billion in 2011.

China has promised to step up investments in India this year through investment parks to address India’s concerns.

Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had said last week that India-China trade will return to the high growth path and reach the $100 billion target set by the two nations.

“China is one of our largest trading partners. We were growing at a clipping rate. But in the last year and half it has more or less stagnated because of slow down in both the countries,” Chidambaram told Chinese state-run CCTV in an interview during the recent Davos conclave.

“We think we will get out of this (slowdown) very soon. It will grow again. The target for of two-way trade is USD 100 billion. We hope we can achieve it in about two to three years,” he added.

In December, BRICS members China and India formed an intergovernmental body with Bangladesh and Myanmar for the BCIM economic corridor.

Consultations have been held earlier on the feasibility of a BCIM Economic corridor, a region host to 40% of the world’s population. The belt hopes to retrace the lost trails and revive commercial trade in the ‘Southern Silk Route’.

TBP and Agencies