China commences chili meal imports from India

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/12 13:30:08

A villager delivers chillies to a warehouse at a cooperative in Zhaokang Township of Xiangfen County in Linfen, North China's Shanxi Province on November 14, 2018 (Xinhua/Yang Chenguang)

Indian-produced chili meal has been approved to enter the Chinese market as Beijing tries to diversify its agricultural product import sources. China's vast growing market will further open to countries and regions respecting multilateral free trade rules, experts said.

China commenced chili meal imports from India at the end of July, the General Administration of Customs announced on Monday, citing its notice released on July 29. Since then, China has allowed Indian chili meal that meets quarantine requirements to enter the country.

Indian chili meal that is shipped to China must follow relevant protocol regarding sanitary and phytosanitary regulations agreed by authorities from both sides, the note said. Phytosanitary standards were agreed on in May, according to a notice posted on the website of Chinese Embassy in India on May 11.

China is diversifying import sources for farm products to reduce the risks it had in relying on a small number of sources like the US for soybean imports, Li Guoxiang, a research fellow at the Rural Development Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday.

The escalating China-US trade war and US' unilateralism drove China to search for new import sources, Li said.

China's consumption of agricultural products is expanding rapidly, and the growing market is benefiting more exporting countries while imports from the US are seeing a dramatic drop.

China's agricultural product imports grew 14.1 percent year-on-year to $416.37 billion in the first five months this year, data released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs showed. Imports from Brazil, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the EU and Australia witnessed rapid growth, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, China's agricultural product imports from the US dropped 55.3 percent year-on-year.

China will further open its market to more countries respecting free trade rules and multilateralism, Li said. The country's farm product imports from India are still relatively low, but the potential is great, Li added.

Total trade between China and India in 2018 grew 13.2 percent year-on-year to $95.54 billion, while imports from India grew 15.2 percent to $18.83 billion, according to data released by China's Commerce Ministry (MOFCOM) in February 2019.

India's trade deficit with China in 2018 narrowed 3.6 percent to $57.2 billion, showed a report from MOFCOM, citing India's official data. The decline in the deficit was the largest in more than a decade, as India's exports to China boomed amid the China-US trade war, media reports said.

Liu Xiaoxue, an associate research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' National Institute of International Strategy, told the Global Times on Monday that India enjoys advantages in agricultural products, medicines and chemicals.

China's move to start importing chili meal import from India is a clear message that China will further open its market, Liu said.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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