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    Wednesday, 18 April 2018

    China-India bilateral trade mounts to a record $84 billion in 2017

    The bilateral trade between arch-rivals, China-India hit the record high mark of $84.44 billion in 2017 despite border tension between the two countries and armed forces’ stand-off at Doklam border.
    In 2017, India has reported 40% increase in its exports to China that totalled $16.34 billion. The bilateral trade in 2017 rose by 18.63 per cent year-on-year to reach $84.44 billion. It is regarded as a landmark as the volume of bilateral trade for the first time crossed $84 billion, well above the $71.18 billion registered in 2016.
    Indian trade deficit with China too enlarged in 2017 to $51.75 billion – registering a growth of 8.55 per cent year-on-year. According to India’s trade figures, the deficit had crossed $52 billion last year. India has been pressing China to open the IT and Pharmaceutical sectors for Indian firms to reduce the massive trade deficit.
    As per the Chinese trade data, India’s exports to China increased by 39.11 per cent year-on-year to $16.34 billion last year. India’s imports from China increased by 14.59 per cent to $68.10 billion. India has emerged as the 7th largest export destination for Chinese products, and the 24th largest exporter to China.
    The trade touched historic high despite bilateral tensions over a number of issues including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, China blocking India’s efforts to bring about a UN ban on Jaish-e-Mohammad leader Masood Azhar, Beijing blocking India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as well as the military standoff at Doklam lasting 73 days. The bilateral trade stagnated around $70 billion for several years despite the leaders of both the countries setting $100 billion as target for 2015. Though it is still about $20 billion short, officials on both sides expect trade and Chinese investments in India to pick up further this year as both the governments are trying to scale down tensions and step-up the normalisation process.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit China in June 2018 to take part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Qingdao. Reciprocal visits by Chinese leaders too are expected to take place this year. There were also expectations that the new commerce minister of China to be named later this week in government reshuffle was expected to visit India in the coming weeks for talks to improve bilateral trade.
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