Indian companies have been unable to get separate space for themselves at China International Import Exhibition (CIIE), which is going to be held from November 5 to November 10 in Shanghai, even after the intervention of Indian Embassy in Beijing. Therefore, Indian companies would be now displaying their products at “country pavilion”, the only space allotted to India.
However, companies of other countries have been able to secure separate spaces for themselves at the CIIE as they did their bookings before May this year. “Despite repeated efforts by FIEO (Federation of Indian Export Organisations) and the Embassy of India, Beijing, the Indian companies have not been assured/allotted sufficient space for participating in the event. Only the space for the country pavilion has been provided,” stated the minutes of the meeting that took place at the Ministry of Commerce in Delhi on August 17 to discuss promotion of exports of various products to China.
Gautam Bambawale, Ambassador of India to China, also participated at this meeting through video conferencing from Beijing. Representatives of FIEO, PHD Chamber of Commerce and various product manufacturers participated at August 17 meeting. FIEO along with PHD Chamber of Commerce has been coordinating the participation of Indian companies in the CIIE.
The minutes of the August 17 meeting stated: “In view of the non-allocation of space for participation of Indian companies in business exhibition by the organising committee and the remote possibility of any such allocation, the Ambassador suggested that having only the country pavilion may not have the desired impact. The Ambassador mentioned that since this would be an annual feature event, the Indian companies may consider participating in future.” CIIE’s 2018 edition, which will happen from November 5 to November 10 this year, will be the first one.
Goods manufacturing companies of non-Indian countries that belong to sectors such as high-end intelligent equipment; consumer electronics & appliances; automobile; apparel, accessories and consumer goods; food and agricultural products; medical equipment and medical care products, have secured separate spaces for themselves in 1.8 lakh square metre area of CIIE.
Ganesh Kumar Gupta, President, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) told The Indian Express: “Commerce ministry, in the month of May, identified FIEO as the nodal point. By that time, the Chinese government had already allotted entire premises to different countries so there was no space left. However, with the intervention of our Ambassador in Beijing, Mr. Gautam Bambawale, with his persuasion and our commerce ministry persuasion, we have been allotted 139 square metre country pavilion where we will be displaying different products of different ministries and different manufacturers. This pavilion will be inaugurated by our honourable Union commerce minister Suresh Prabhu ji, where I myself and FIEO Director General Ajay Sahay would also be going.”
On the issue of setting up the country pavilion during the CIIE event, Union commerce secretary Anup Wadhawan “desired” at the August 17 meeting that “it may be examined based on the possibility of facilitating Indian companies to participate in buyer seller meets or other events where they are likely to be benefited”.
India has been trying to promote exports for last few years. On October 3, 2018, Prabhu asked various ministries such as textiles, MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) and chemicals to explore export opportunities in South Asia with a view to promoting India’s outward shipments. Union commerce ministry was focusing on nine sectors – gems and jewellery, leather, textile and apparel, engineering, electronics, chemicals and petrochemicals, pharma, agri and allied and marine products, an official statement said on October 3.