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ICS Analysis

Deciphering India's dependency on Chinese imports

Reducing dependency on imports from China has emerged as a national policy objective for India in 2020. This paper presents a framework that can support decision making in this direction and some techniques to monitor India’s progress in this journey. It employs a dataset comprising of 375 product categories at the six-digit HS Code level for which China accounted for 80% or more of Indian imports 2018-19. Analysis on the dataset has been presented through three prisms of dependency - intensity, scale, and criticality. Intensity depicts the urgency with which dependency must be reduced. Scale helps determine whether import substitution through domestic manufacturing is feasible, or an alternative source of imports is preferred. Criticality is a subjective criterion, but pharmaceuticals, electronics, and automotive sectors are significant in the Indian context. The framework and techniques presented in this paper can be adapted for different datasets by altering the filters applied. This paper also highlights areas that deserve further attention.

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