BEIJING: The India-China bilateral trade has reached USD 84.44 billion last year, an historic high. A rare novelty of the bilateral trade otherwise dominated by the Chinese exports was about 40 per cent increase of Indian exports to China in 2017 totalling to USD 16.34 billion, data of the Chinese General Administration of Customs.
The bilateral trade in 2017 rose by 18.63 per cent year-on-year to reach USD 84.44 billion. It is regarded as a landmark as the volume of bilateral trade for the first time touched USD 80 billion, well above the USD 71.18 billion registered last year. The bilateral trade stagnated around USD 70 billion for several years despite the leaders of both the countries setting USD 100 billion as target for 2015.
Though it is still about USD 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 this year to take part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Qingdao. Reciprocal visits by Chinese leaders too were expected to take place this year. While the bilateral trade reached a new landmark, the trade deficit too continues to remain high at USD 51.75 billion- registering a growth of 8.55 per cent year-on-year in 2017. According to India's trade figures, the deficit had crossed USD 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 USD 16.34 billion last year. India's imports from China increased by 14.59 per cent to USD 68.10 billion. India has emerged as the seventh largest export destination for Chinese products, and the 24th largest exporter to China. India's exports of diamonds grew 4.93 per cent totalling to USD 2.59 billion. India was the second largest exporter of diamonds to China with a market share of 33.06 per cent after South Africa.
Also, Indian exports of copper registered a significant increase of 115.78 per cent to reach USD 2.15 billion. China's exports on the other hand were dominated by electrical machinery and equipment registering an increase of 28.23 percent to USD 21.77 billion.