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Bilateral trade between India, China crosses 125 billion USD in 2021

  • Integrity Education, Delhi
  • 15, Jan 2022
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Bilateral trade between India and China crossed 125 billion USD in 2021, according to Chinese customs data released on Friday. Despite a protracted border standoff, Two-way trade between India and China in 2021 stood at 125.66 billion USD, up 43.3% from 2020 when bilateral trade was worth 87.6 billion USD.

In 2021, China’s exports to India were 97.52 billion USD, up 46.2%, while China imported 28.14 billion USD worth of goods from India, up 34.2%, according to statistics released by the General Administration of Customs (GAC) on Friday. Trade deficit between the two countries remained in favour of China – at $69 billion. The deficit in trade has been a constant source of friction between New Delhi and Beijing, with India complaining that China hasn’t given Indian companies access to sectors like pharmaceuticals. 

In pre-pandemic times in 2019, the bilateral trade was 92.8 billion USD and both countries were aspiring to touch the mark of 100 billion USD. Due to COVID, India-China trade in 2020 declined to 87.6 billion USD, the lowest since 2017. In the first half of 2021, Chinese companies saw an increase in demand from India for medical equipment due to a devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the website of Indian Embassy in Beijing, the widening trade deficit with China can be attributed to two factors: narrow basket of commodities, mostly primary, for exporting to China and the lack of market access for most India’s agricultural products and the sectors where India is competitive in, such as pharmaceuticals, and IT.

Indian and Chinese border troops have been locked in a border standoff in eastern Ladakh since May 2020, when a violent clash in Pangong lake area led to both sides gradually deploying tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry along the border. Several rounds of military and diplomatic talks have only resulted in partial disengagement of troops until now as the two sides completed 14th round of military talks on Wednesday, 12th January.

GAC data showed on Friday that trade between China and the US soared by 28.7% and amounted to $755.6 billion in 2021 - maintaining a strong growth momentum and contributing 12% to China’s record $6 trillion foreign trade for the year. China’s exports to the US increased by 27.5% in 2021, while imports grew by 32.7%, reaching $179.53 billion as phase 1 trade deal is completing two years in the coming week. The US maintained its place as China’s third-largest trade partner following ASEAN and the European Union as reported by state media.

Sources : News on AIR