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India should be cautious about importing agri, food, and marine items from China'

India should be cautious about importing agri, food, and marine items from China

New Delhi: India should be cautious at ports about imports of agri, food and marine products from China amid outbreak of deadly coronavirus in the neighbouring country, trade experts say. The experts said port authorities should follow properly all the protocols related with sanitary (related to animals) standards.

"As this deadly coronavirus is spreading at a fast pace, India should be cautious while importing agri, food and marine products rom China," Professor at Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) Rakesh Mohan Joshi said.

Sharing similar views, Trade economist and Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University Biswajit Dhar said this is an opportunity to upgrade infrastructure at ports on the back of spread of the virus. "Sanitary standards should be followed and maintained properly," he said.

He added that although there is no fool-proof theory that this virus is spreading through non-living things, but "we should not take any chance".

Dhar said the government should also provide protective gears or masks to workforce working at ports, particularly those handling agri, food and marine product consignments coming from China.

"This is also an opportunity for us to upgrade infrastructure at ports with regard to sanitary standards," he added.

China is a key trading partner of India. The bilateral trade between India and China has dipped to $87 billion in 2018-19 from $89.71 billion in 2017-18.

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