Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

India, China dispel tension to increase trade by 70%

- Sutirtho Patranobis

Spurred by India’s import of medical goods from China, trade between the two neighbours soared by more than 70% year-on-year to over $48 billion in the first five months of 2021, China’s customs data showed on Monday.

Calling it a “spectacula­r growth”, Chinese state media interprete­d the increase in bilateral trade as a sign of resilience in trade ties between the two nations despite conflict at the border and political difference­s.

“Trade between China and India soared 70.1% in US dollar terms in the first five months of this year to $48.16 billion, according to Chinese customs data released on Monday. Specifical­ly, Chinese exports to India grew 64.1% year-on-year from January to May, while imports surged 90.2%,” the tabloid Global Times reported.

The India-china trade volume was higher than the trade that Beijing conducted with other trading partners, the report said.

The latest statistics were released by China’s General Administra­tion of Customs (GAC) on Monday.

As per the data available, the rise in trade, specifical­ly Chinese exports to India, rose sharply between April and May.

Until April, the bilateral trade in goods between China and India in the first quarter of 2021 grew with the total trade volume reaching $27.7 billion, a year-on-year increase of 42.8%.

The rise could be attributed to the increase of exports of Chinese medical goods and equipment by Indian companies to fight a surge in Covid-19 cases over the last couple of months.

“If anything, these extraordin­ary growth rates show that China-india trade has largely shrugged off the impact of the political tensions caused by the border friction last year, bouncing back quickly,” the state media report said.

According to the Indian embassy in Beijing, though overall bilateral trade between the two countries grew exponentia­lly—notwithsta­nding a fall last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic—india continues to be saddled with a big trade deficit.

“The growth of trade deficit with China could be attributed to two factors: narrow basket of commoditie­s, mostly primary, that we export to China, and market access impediment­s for most of our agricultur­al products and the sectors where we are competitiv­e in, such as pharmaceut­icals, IT/ITES, etc. Our predominan­t exports have consisted of cotton, copper and diamonds or natural gems,” the Indian embassy wrote on its website under the section “India-china trade and economic relations”.

 ??  ?? Trade soared to $48.16 bn in the first five months this year.
Trade soared to $48.16 bn in the first five months this year.

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