If Pakistani leaders had hoped to profit from military tension between China and India following last week's long-range missile test, it looks like they're going to be disappointed. China yesterday agreed to begin importing basmati rice from India, a foodstuff it had previously bought exclusively from Pakistan. According to the Times of India, "Islamabad is known to have been persuading China not to allow Indian basmati because it will affect its already small export basket."
Basmati rice is currently traded at $1100 per tonne. As eating habits change with rising disposable incomes in the world’s second biggest economy, Sethia is confident Indian rice will find a place in China
“China wants rice because their per capita incomes are rising and they want to try new things,” he said. “there are some areas that consume long-grain rice so with effort, we can achieve some penetration of this market. We are a surplus market, so this is good for both countries.”
Trade between India and China grew nearly 20 per cent to hit a record high of $73.9bn in 2011, according to the India-China trade center, though the trade gap stood at about $27bn in China’s favour.
The military buildup between Asia's two superpowers doesn't seem likely to slow that growth down.
NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images
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