Beijing: The 'Make in India' initiative of the Narendra Modi government has entered its fifth year but the manufacturing companies are yet to show any visible interest in setting up factories in India. In fact, companies exiting China, instead of India, are showing more interest in Vietnam, a media report said.
Why are manufacturers still showing little enthusiasm for India, five years after the Make in India initiative was launched?
The seed of a viable solution to this situation may lie in the second informal meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Modi in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, according to the report published in the Chinese daily Global Times.
The two leaders met at the picturesque town on Friday and discussed a wide range of topics. They also had a one-on-one conversation without their aides for over two hours.
Xi was visiting India at the invitation by Modi, after which he will travel to Nepal from Friday to Sunday.
"So long as New Delhi begins to tune its mind-set for Beijing-enabled success, India could surely achieve its goal of becoming a global manufacturing hub," the Global Times opined.
Findings from a recent study by Japanese brokerage Nomura revealed that out of 56 firms that moved their production out of China between April 2018 and August 2019, only three went to India.
Vietnam sat at the top of the relocation destination rankings with 26.
The results were a disappointment for India, which has over the past few years made a resounding push to rev up its manufacturing sector.
The daily said: "India has to wake up to the reality that the nation's manufacturing capabilities, as measured by its logistics facilities, manpower and other complementary infrastructure, barely live up to its ambition."
Another hindering factor, according to the Global Times, was India's insistence on not joining the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), "which exemplifies how misleading mind-sets have cost India opportunities to become a manufacturing star over the years".
But the meeting between the leaders of the two nations could provide New Delhi with a chance to change this situation.
"If New Delhi can take a genuinely pragmatic approach to the meeting, following the first such relation-deepening exercise in Wuhan, Hubei province in April 2018, the hopes for 'Make in India' might come true," it added.
Also worth noting is that the visit to Nepal, the first by a Chinese President in 23 years, offers India a precious chance to render Kathmandu a contributor to China-India relations.
"If New Delhi takes the opportunity (of Xi's meeting with Modi) this time around, the nation, the world's second-largest by population, will benefit hugely from the relocation of manufacturing from China," the newspaper concluded.