India-China trade hits record $84.4 billion in 2017
According to data of Chinese General Administration of Customs, India-China bilateral trade has reached $84.44 billion last year, a historic high with 18.63% year-on-year growth rate.
This is regarded as historic landmark in bilateral relations of both countries, as volume of bilateral trade for first time has touched $80 billion, well above the $71.18 billion registered in 2016.
India has emerged as the seventh largest export destination for Chinese products, and 24th largest exporter to China.
India’s imports and exports: It has increased by 39.11% year-on-year to $16.34 billion in 2017. India’s imports from China have increased by 14.59% to $68.10 billion.
Significantly, diamonds along with copper, iron ore, organic chemicals and cotton yarn contributed to increase Indian exports to China. China’s exports on other hand were dominated by electrical machinery and equipment,
India’s trade deficit: It continues to remain high at $51.75 billion, registering a growth of 8.55% year-on-year in 2017. To arrest it, India is pressing China to open its IT and Pharmaceutical sectors for Indian firms, fertilizers, organic chemicals and pharmaceutical antibiotics.
The bilateral trade has touched historic high despite bilateral tensions over number of bilateral issues including China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China blocking India’s efforts to bring about UN ban on Jaish-e-Mohammad leader Masood Azhar and blocking India’s entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as well as military standoff at Doklam plateau near Sikkim and Bhutan, lasting 73 days.
For several years, bilateral trade between India and China had stagnated around $70 billion, despite they had set target of $100 billion in 2015. Though it is still about $20 billion short, it is expect trade and Chinese investments in India to pick up further as both governments are trying to scale down tensions and step-up normalisation process.