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India can fill up export gap vacated by China over coronavirus outbreak: Assocham

PTI     March 1, 2020

With the Chinese economy getting impacted due to the coronavirus outbreak, India can push its exports in the global markets to fill up the space vacated by the neighbouring country, industry body Assocham said on Sunday. It said Indian exporters of electronics, pharmaceuticals, speciality chemicals and automobile segments depend on China for raw material and are facing supply constraints, but there are several areas where there are increased opportunities for domestic traders.

"Barring a few segments, a large number of engineering exports from India can fill up the market vacated by China; so is the case with products like leather and leather goods," Assocham Secretary General Deepak Sood said.

He said India can also tap the opportunities in segments like agriculture and carpets.

"We also need to scale up several of our sectors to compete effectively with China even when the Chinese exporters are able to normalise their global supply chain," Sood said.

He also said while the health emergency of the Coronavirus epidemic is a matter of grave concern for the entire world, it is incumbent on larger economies like India to fill up the gaps in the global market and there is a need to approach the issue with a clear strategy.

According to the latest PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) data, China's factory output level in February has plummeted to the lowest in about two decades, and the consequences are bound to be felt in the global market, Assocham said.

"While India's merchandise exports have contracted by 1.93 per cent between April-January period of the current fiscal, the coming few months can provide our exporters greater market access in the absence of usually aggressive and competitive Chinese suppliers," it added.

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