Growing trade deficit with China worries India

Growing trade deficit with China worries India

Comes in the backdrop of worsening border standoff

Growing trade deficit with China worries India
Amid continuing India-China military stand-off in Bhutan, New Delhi on Monday expressed its concerns over yet another irritant in its bilateral relations with the neighbouring communist country – the burgeoning trade deficit.

“Trade deficit with China is a matter of concern,” Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman, told the Lok Sabha during the Question Hour. She was replying to a question from Kapil Moreshwar Patil, a parliamentarian of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

“We are discussing the issue with China for greater access for Indian products and services in the Chinese market,” she said.

Sitharaman presented in the Lok Sabha a list of 25 countries with which India has trade deficit. China consistently topped the roll in 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 and in the first two months of the 2017-18 financial year.

India-China trade in 2016 decreased by 0.67 % year-on-year to $ 71.18 billion. India’s exports to China decreased by 12.29 % year-on-year to $ 11.748 billion, while India’s imports from China saw a year-on-year growth of 2.01 % to $ 59.428 billion. The Indian trade deficit with China further increased by 6.28 % year-on-year to $ 47.68 billion. In 2016, India was the seventh largest export destination for Chinese products, and the 27th largest exporter to China, the Embassy of India in Beijing posted on its website quoting data released by Chinese Custom.

India-China trade in the first four months of 2017 increased by 19.92 % year-on-year to $ 26.02 billion. India’s exports to China increased by 45.29 % year-on-year to $ 5.57 billion while India’s imports from China saw a year-on-year growth of 14.48 % to $ 20.45 billion. India's trade deficit with China further increased by 6.07 % year-on-year to $14.883 billion, according to the Embassy of India in Beijing.

Sitharaman on Monday told the Lok Sabha that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the issue of burgeoning trade deficit with the Chinese Government “at the highest level”.

She was apparently referring to Prime Minister's meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping both in Beijing and New Delhi as well as in other countries on the sidelines of multilateral conclaves.

The Commerce Minister expressed concern over India's growing trade deficit with China amid a continuing Indian Army and China's People's Liberation Army

Apart from China, the other countries with which India has trade deficit included Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Kuwait, Venezuela, Nigeria, Korea, Indonesia, Australia and Malaysia. The United States, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom are among the countries with which India has favourable trade balance, Sitharaman informed the Lok Sabha.
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