China can help India improve industrial base: expert
BRICS countries will develop a mechanism for capacity cooperation, boost cooperation in key sectors and encourage deep cooperation in emerging sectors such as next-generation information technology and new energy, according to an action plan that the five countries signed on Saturday.
BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
"The global economy is still suffering from the last financial crisis … A round of new industrial reform characterized by the Internet, digitization and intelligence has generated new industrial models. BRICS countries should use existing cooperation platform to deepen industrial cooperation," said Chinese Industry and Information Technology Minister Miao Wei, speaking at the Second Meeting of BRICS Industry Ministers held in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province.
In general, capacity cooperation among BRICS nations has been positive in recent years, with many two-way investments, said Zuo Shiquan, head of the equipment manufacturing research institute under the China Center for Information Industry Development.
"For example, Brazil's technology of paving roads with used tires has been introduced to Beijing and Shenyang, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, and India-based company Tata Group has been manufacturing components and parts in China," he said on Sunday.
The exchange mechanism among BRICS nations helps formulate a regional industrial value chain through cooperative projects, of which Chinese electronics giant Hisense is a representative, South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said at the meeting, domestic news site zjol.com.cn reported.
In 2013, Hisense and the China-Africa Development Fund set up an industrial park in South Africa that can produce 400,000 TVs and refrigerators each year. The park creates more than 3,700 jobs and the company's products and services have expanded to 15 countries in the region, the company told the Global Times on Sunday.
The company will continue to transfer advanced technologies to the region and manufacture more high-end products to meet consumers' needs, Li Youbo, deputy manager of Hisense's South African branch, was quoted as saying in a statement.
Given South Africa's weak industrial base, capacity cooperation with China and other BRICS countries can help improve the industrial system and establish a modern industrial foundation for the region, said Zhao Jianglin, a research fellow from the National Institute for Global Strategy under Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Although capacity cooperation seems smooth among BRICS members, challenges persist, especially between China and India, according to experts.
India has much concern in interacting with China, as it worries that China may take up a large market share in the country in sectors like home appliances and electronic products, experts noted.
Compared with China, India's manufacturing industry is weaker due to a shortage of infrastructure and a less desirable investment environment, she said.
China's trade with India was .62 billion in the first half of this year, an increase of 23 percent year-on-year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
"China hopes to strengthen capacity cooperation with India and continues to change India's negative views on economic cooperation with China. For example, Chinese companies build factories in India and then export the products to China to reduce the trade deficit with India," Zhao said.
India should carry out capacity cooperation with China, which can help India improve its industrial infrastructure and pursue economic upgrading, she said.
Developing countries face common challenges like industrial transformation, technology barriers and rising international trade protectionism. To tackle these problems, BRICS members should join hands rather than split up, Zuo said.
The action plan signed also encourages the five countries to coordinate their industrial policies, strengthen cooperation in infrastructure and technological innovation to jointly promoting industrial development.