This Article is From Jan 03, 2012

India asks traders to stay away from China's Yiwu trade hub

India asks traders to stay away from China's Yiwu trade hub
Beijing: The two Indians traders, who were virtually held captive by locals in China's Yiwu trade hub, have now been shifted to a hotel for "safety" reasons by the police, even as India issued an advisory asking its traders to "stay away" from the busy commodities trading centre.

Police in Yiwu, a trade hub in Zhejiang province close to Shanghai, shifted Shyamsunder Agrewal and Deepak Raheja to a hotel where two policemen were deployed to guard them.

The two were kidnapped by local traders on December 15 because the firm they work for owes the traders money. The owner of the firm is absconding.

Indian diplomat S Balachandran was hospitalised after he fainted in court while trying to negotiate their release on December 31, prompting India to lodge a strong protest with China.

An advisory issued by the Indian Embassy in Beijing said, "All people who have business/trade with Yiwu are cautioned against doing business there and all people who do not have business/trade with Yiwu are requested to be careful that they do not do business with Yiwu". It added that Indian traders "should be aware that when there are trade disputes with Yiwu, the Indian businessmen/traders can be illegally held under detention and mistreated by Chinese businessmen there".

"Based on experience, there is no guarantee that legal remedies will be readily available. Furthermore, in case of disputes arising, experience suggests that there is inadequate protection for safety of persons," the advisory posted on the embassy's website said.

Though they now have police protection, Deepak Raheja told PTI over phone that they still apprehended trouble as a large crowd of locals had surrounded their hotel. Indian officials said efforts were on to bring them to Shanghai.

The local traders, who reportedly handed them over to the police, assert that they would let them go only after the dues amounting to several million Yuan are paid.

According to unofficial estimates, Indian businessmen bought goods worth over several billions dollars last year. Over 100 Indian businessmen live in Yiwu doing thriving business there.