In view of China’s increasing dominance in the Indian market, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has decided to launch a nationwide campaign on 10th June to boycott Chinese products. CAIT is India’s apex trade body that represents seven crore traders and 40,000 trade associations.
Named ‘Indian Goods – Our Pride’, the campaign will be primarily run using the digital medium and social media, due to the existing ground realities related to COVID-19. CAIT aims to reach out to its nationwide network of traders to sensitise them about the need to rely less on China and promote Indian manufacturers. Of late, China has been quite aggressive on the online front as well. The Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece, Global Times, has unilaterally declared that India will never be able to replicate China’s growth story, or that the calls to boycott Chinese products are all likely to fail.
The overall aim of the ‘Indian Goods – Our Pride’ campaign will be to reduce Chinese imports to the tune of 1 Lakh Crore (USD 13 Billion) by the end of 2021. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, the trade body has already created a comprehensive list of 3000 products that are currently imported from China, and can be easily replaced with alternatives provided by Indian manufacturers. This is intended to make the campaign much more effective on the trader level. The identified products fall in a wide range of categories including FMCG, consumer goods, toys, festive goods, textiles, stationery, paper, food items, electrical, electronics, builder hardware and more.
During the lockdown CAIT has been proactively engaging with prominent business leaders and various stakeholders in State Governments to highlight the threat of China capturing the Indian market. The nationwide campaign is being organised as a result of the inputs given by participants from across India.
The campaign comes at a time when India is seeing a surge in anti-China sentiment and more and more people are becoming aware of the various ways in which China is creating roadblocks for India on the global level. Over the past few years, CAIT has also been actively taking on ecommerce giants like Flipkart and Amazon for their deep discounting practices and business tactics that harm small Indian traders. The industry body is also working on creating a centralised online platform ‘bharatemarket’ for Indian retail traders.