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Need to put a national security filter with regard to business propositions with China: EAM

Need to put a national security filter with regard to business propositions with China: EAM

New Delhi, May 17 (UNI) Amid reports of China overtaking the US as India’s top trading partner in FY24 with a total trade of $118.4 billion, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said that the government has “an issue with the business community of India”, which does business with China based on “price point choices”, even as he said that there is need to “put a national security filter” with regard to business propositions with China.
Speaking at an event at CII, the EAM to a question on ties with China, and the growing trade ties, said that despite the boundary troubles, “Business in this country has not ignored China. In fact business is buying from China. I think we need to define the problem; the problem is do we take precautions today, do we actually identify a list of businesses, some more sensitive than others, and assess what are the possibilities there?”
On the trade imbalance, which is hugely tilted in China’s favour, he said: “Here we frankly have an issue with the business community of India, which is that business is still making choices based, it’s a really I would say a price point choice, which people make; I understand the compulsions of business, but in the long run, we will have to see how we encourage business to do much more domestic sourcing and obviously for that we need to obviously see much more domestic production.”
He said for the Indian businesses to source from India the country will have to encourage domestic production, and make up for the "20-30 years of neglect of manufacturing" in the country.
He said there is a need to put a national security filer, with regard to business propositions with China.

“This does not mean that nothing comes, but a national security filter definitely means that in a business proposition we have to evaluate certain national security sensitivities which may be there. So where China is concerned, we will still encourage people in this country to manufacture in India, source in India, procure from India; but we are not completely prohibiting people from working with China. But frankly we would much rather you work with Indian companies, if there is an Indian option available to you, which is good for our national security, which is good for your business in the long term,” he added.
On the boundary issue with China, he said the fundamental aspect in the ties is of peace and tranquility in the border areas which has been disturbed due to China’s actions.
“There is a commonsense proposition there, if a country has gone back on written agreements, and is doing something in opponence, then how can we say that the business world will continue as normal and the other things wont.
“That’s one complication, but that doesn’t mean that business stops, because the numbers show you that business has not stopped."
UNI RN

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