TRADE BETWEEN INDIA AND CHINA TO BE FURTHER STRENGTHENED: KAMAL NATH
BILATERAL TRADE CROSSES US $ 10 BILLION
Date : 19 Dec 2004
Location : New Delhi
Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, has said that efforts will be made to further expand and diversify India’s current export basket to China, even as the calendar year’s statistics of the Chinese Customs Authorities indicate that bilateral trade between India and China has for the first time already touched US $ 10.84 billion during January to October 2004, showing an impressive growth of 82.53% over the corresponding period of 2003. The Chinese Premiere Mr. Zhu Rongji, during his visit to India during January 2002 had proposed increasing bilateral trade to US $ 10 billion. In an interview to the Wen Hui daily of Shanghai here, Shri Kamal Nath indicated that even on the basis of the financial year data (2004-05), available for the first five months (April to August’04), two-way trade between India and China was all set to cross the US $ 10 billion mark.
According to the country-wise foreign trade statistics of DGCI&S, India’s exports to China during April-August 2004 were valued US $ 1263.16 million ($ 1.2 billion) indicating a growth of 67.54% over the same period of 2003-04. India’s imports from China during April-August 2004 amounted to US $ 2383.06 million ($ 2.3 billion), indicating a growth of 69.19%. The total trade between India and China during the first five months of the current financial year 2004-05 are thus estimated at US $ 3646.22 million ($ 3.6 billion). While trade with China is registering steady growth, the balance of bilateral trade continues to be in favour of China. India’s trade with China in 2003-04, according to DGCI&S, stood at US $ 7007.57 million ($ 7 billion).
In his interview to the Chinese daily, Shri Kamal Nath underlined that the present level of India-China trade was not commensurate with the potential given the enormous size of the two countries. India’s exports to China in particular were focussed mainly around primary commodities and hence, the urgent need to expand and diversify the current export basket, to focus on value-added exports and for increasing India’s commercial presence in China. China’s global trade amounted to US $ 851 billion during 2003. Pointing out that as against this, the India-China trade turnover during 2003-04 was only of the order of US $ 7 billion which is not even 1% of China’s global trade, Shri Kamal Nath said that India and China represented an important force in world trade and should forge closer trade and economic ties based on the complementarities of their two economies.