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India must not stop trade with China: Rajiv Bajaj

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on February 27, 2021

Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto PAUL NORONHA

Stating that doing a business in ASEAN countries was easier compared to India, Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto said that India must continue trade with China.

Bajaj was speaking at the 5th edition of Asia Economic Dialogue (AED) 2021 jointly organised by Pune International Centre (PIC) and the Government of India’ Ministry of External Affairs.

“Since we hope to venture into Asia in a significant way in the near future we did an elaborate comparison around certain metrics. Land, labour, electricity, logistics and legal system and we did a quite exhaustive comparison of India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia on five metrics. And to be honest, we were not very pleased with what we found as a conclusion. The conclusion we drew for India based on this analysis and we can put it all together and call it the ease of doing business. So our experience so far has been that however limited, that operating something in one of the ASEAN countries is certainly easier than what we encounter here in India,” said Bajaj.

Along with Bajaj, Nguyen Than Hung, Chairman of Sovico Group ( Vietnam), Inbom Choi, Senior Advisor Mahindra Group ( South Korea) and Mamoru Yokoo, Director and Executive Vice President Mitsubishi Corporation participated in a panel discussion on ‘ Building reliable global supply chains’.

Talking in the context of reliable supply chains, Bajaj said that the Indian government’s decision to stop imports from China in June-July last year was not appropriate.

“In June- July when our government for whatever reasons suddenly came down hard on imports especially from China. Now to my mind doing something like that is cutting your nose to spike your face because overnight how can one source components that are not made in the domestic market that you need to deliver the product to domestic or export customers,” he said.

Bajaj insisted on maintaining continuity of supply chains. “We like to believe we are a global company and therefore this to my mind from a cultural point of view and operational point of view, demand completeness or inclusiveness of having dealers, distributors and suppliers all over the world.”

He added, “ I believe we must continue to trade with China because if we conduct our business at the exclusion of such a large country, such large market we will find ourselves incomplete over time and we will be poorer for the loss of that experience.” He said that insistence on electronic vehicles was an exciting opportunity for Bajaj Auto.

Ganesh Natrajan, Chairman 5 F World who moderated the session said that Covid has wreaked havoc on the health, on the prosperity of individuals, communities and nations and clearly created a deficit of trusts as well. “Manufacturing demands are coming back. Manufacturing economic are looking to reconfigure and new trading and collaborations are coming up. Many countries are reassessing opportunities for the future,” said Natrajan.

Inbom Choi said that with disruption in supply chains significant changes are taking place in the manufacturing and service sector.

Published on February 27, 2021

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