Agri Business

India questions Chinese ban on buffalo meat shipments

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018

Raises issue at WTO farm panel as Beijing is yet to allow imports despite signing MoU

India has questioned China for continuing curbs on Indian buffalo meat imports at an agriculture committee meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Beijing has continued its ban on import of bovine meat despite signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with India on the issue two years ago during Chinese Premier Li Kequiang’s visit then.

“We raised the issue at the multilateral platform as we were not getting a satisfactory response from China bilaterally. We have no intentions of going to dispute yet, but can’t comment about the future,” a Commerce Ministry official told BusinessLine.

India, which has a huge trade deficit with China, calculated at over $37 billion in 2013-14, is hoping to sell meat worth over $1 billion annually once the ban is lifted.

In a submission to the WTO agriculture committee last week, India’s representative pointed out the country was still waiting for Chinese quarantine inspectors to examine meat plants so that the facilities could be cleared for exports.

Beijing, in its defence, said it had actively implemented the 2013 memorandum but technical data requested by it were not submitted by India until July 2014.

The Chinese representative said that authorities in the country were making all efforts to conduct a technical analysis on the data supplied by India and will intensify work on lifting the ban.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is expected to visit China in the coming months, will also raise the issue of unfulfilled MoUs, the official said. Apart from bovine meat, MoUs have also been signed between the two countries on pharmaceuticals, fisheries and IT. “The PM will give the message that MoUs are not to be treated lightly and the ones that have been signed so far need to be implemented,” the official said.

Beijing has been assuring India it will try to bridge the glaring trade imbalance between the two countries by importing more, but nothing concrete has happened in the direction yet.

Published on March 31, 2015

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