Data | Is an economic boycott of China feasible for India?

Amid calls for boycotting Chinese products, here is why such a decision seems infeasible

June 24, 2020 12:39 pm | Updated 01:24 pm IST

In protest: People calling for the boycott of Chinese goods in Mumbai.

In protest: People calling for the boycott of Chinese goods in Mumbai.

Amid border clashes , calls for boycotting Chinese products have intensified. While India relies heavily on imports from China, a much smaller portion of China’s imports are from India. India’s unicorns are also heavily dependent on investments from China . An economic boycott seems infeasible.

One-way traffic

In FY19, 5.1% of India’s exports were destined for China, while only 3% of China’s came to India. Also, 13.7% of India’s imports were from China, while only 0.9% of China’s were from India.

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Imports from China accounted for over 14% of India’s total imports in FY20 (until Feb.), the highest share among all the nations. Exports to China accounted for over 5% of India’s exports, the third highest.

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Also read: Parley | Can India decouple itself from Chinese manufacturing?

High dependence

The chart depicts the imported products for which India depends on China the most. For instance, 76.3% of all antibiotics imported by India are from China.

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India is heavily dependent on China for electronics and pharmaceutical products.

Start-up story

Many Indian unicorns (start-ups with valuation of over $1 billion) have a Chinese investor. The chart depicts the estimated investment by Chinese companies in select start-ups.

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Source: Commerce Ministry, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Brookings India and IMF.

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