Can Bollywood help India’s trade deficit situation with China?

With accumulating a deficit as large as $35 billion in the year 2013-14, the Commerce Ministry is now looking at Bollywood to reduce the loss it gathered over a decade.

Dhoom 3 which collected Rs 500 crore at the Indian box office is set to release in 200 screens across China.

The Indian commerce ministry is working with China’s official film importer the China Film Group Corporation (CFGC) to import Indian films to them.

Non-Hollywood foreign films compete with 1.5% of China’s huge film market. With China set to topple US as the largest film market, it makes sound sense to sell Indian films and give more momentum to Indian exports to China.

India has so far screened Kangana Ranaut-starrer Queen and Farhan Akhtar’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag to select Chinese audience. There are plans to push it for imports as well. Top production houses such as Viacom18, Zee, Eros International and Reliance Entertainment too will be holding meetings with the CFGC.

China has been enthusiastically exporting 45 films more than its World Trade Organisation (WTO) commitment of 35 films per year.

Indian authorities are eager to make good of this opportunity and they hope the right content gets sent across. But since films such as Veer, Krrish and My Name is Khan that were screened didn’t perform well, Indian officials have become extra cautious now. They have even commissioned a study to understand the cinematic sense of Chinese citizens.

The CFGC needs films that are technologically sound, have good content and showcase a different culture and Indian officials want to be sure they adhere to that.

A delegation led by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)​ and government officials visited China last week to help bilateral trades.