Beijing: The CEOs of a slew of Indian businesses and industries in China have expressed their displeasure with Beijing’s continued COVID-19-related visa and travel restrictions, which they say are impeding their operations.
During their meeting with Vikram Misri, the Indian Ambassador to China, they expressed their concern.
Misri, who is in Shanghai for a visit, kicked off the Amrut Mahotsav festival on Friday, which commemorates India’s 75th anniversary of independence.
In #Shanghai, the India@75 #AmrutMahotsav was inaugurated. The occasion was marked by a soulful rendition of the #Upanishad and #Gita, melodious Sitar/Tabla performance, #Deshbhakti songs, films on musical traditions of #Varanasi, and #VaccineMaitri.” Misri Tweeted.
He also met with a group of Indian business leaders and delegates in and around Shanghai, China’s business capital.
Misri met with over 30 officials from eight industries, including textiles, pharmaceuticals, electronics, engineering, chemicals, and information technology.
Interacted with members from the Indian industry in Shanghai. Business leaders from a variety of industries, including #IT, #Pharma, #textiles, #engineering, Manufacturing, #foodprocessing, #banking, and others, took part in the discussions, according to Misri.
According to official sources here, the CEOs told Misri that they were having difficulties in their operations, primarily due to travel and visa restrictions imposed by China as part of its COVID-19 steps.
According to the sources, Misri told them that the Indian Embassy would continue to engage with the Chinese government on issues related to travel restrictions.
Since Beijing enforced travel restrictions and suspended Indian citizens’ visas and resident permits in November last year, travel between India and China has been halted.
Over 23,000 Indian students, as well as hundreds of Indian businessmen, workers, and their relatives, were stranded in India as a result of these restrictions.
There are no flights between the two countries at the moment.
Despite numerous representations from the Indian Embassy here and students who mostly study medicine in Chinese universities, China has yet to indicate when it plans to allow travel.
These universities say that they are offering stranded students online classes.
China made it mandatory for tourists from India and 19 other countries to be inoculated with Chinese COVID-19 vaccines before entering the country last month.
The fact that Chinese vaccines are not available in India added to the uncertainty. Though Chinese authorities have not included students in the mandatory vaccine list, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has stated that they will review the issues relating to students, but no decision has been made.
Several leading Indian companies and businesses have operations in China.
With the increase in bilateral trade between India and China in recent years, several Indian companies have opened offices in China to serve both their domestic and international clients.
Pharmaceuticals, refractories, laminated tubes, auto-components, wind energy, IT and IT-enabled services, trading, banking, and allied activities are among the manufacturing activities undertaken by Indian companies.
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Aurobindo Pharma, Matrix Pharma, NIIT, Bharat Forge, Infosys, TCS, APTECH, Wipro, Mahindra Satyam, Essel Packaging, Suzlon Energy, Reliance Industries, Sundaram Fasteners, Mahindra & Mahindra, TATA Sons, Binani Cements, and others are among the prominent Indian companies in China.
According to new estimates released by China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) in January this year, two-way trade between India and China in 2020 was USD 87.6 billion, down 5.6% from the previous year.