India's imports of goods from countries with which it has a free trade agreement like the UAE, South Korea and Australia grew about 38 per cent during 2019-24 fiscal years to $187.92 billion, according to think tank GTRI.

On the other hand, the country's exports to the FTA (free trade agreement) partners rose 14.48 per cent to $122.72 billion in 2023-24, from $107.20 billion in 2018-19.

"From FY'2019 to FY'2024, India's imports increased by 37.97 per cent, from $136.20 billion to $187.92 billion. This growth highlights the significant and varied impact of free trade agreements on India's global trade dynamics," the Global Trade Research Initiative data showed.

According to the data, India's exports to the UAE increased by 18.25 per cent to $35.63 billion in 2023-24 as against $30.13 billion in 2018-19, while imports surged 61.21 per cent, from $29.79 billion in FY2019 to $48.02 billion in the last fiscal.

The FTA between India and the UAE came into effect in May, 2022.

Similarly, the country's exports to Australia, with which the interim trade pact came into force in December, 2022, more than doubled to $7.94 billion in 2023-24 from $3.52 billion in 2018-19.

Imports from Australia grew 23.06 per cent from $13.13 billion to $16.16 billion in the last fiscal.

Exports to 10-nation southeast Asian bloc ASEAN, increased by about 10 per cent to $41.21 billion in the last fiscal from $37.47 billion in FY-2019. Imports jumped by 34.3 per cent from $59.32 billion to $79.67 billion.

The data showed that India's outbound shipments to South Korea rose by 36.38 per cent during the last five fiscal years from $4.71 billion to $6.42 billion and imports increased by 26.12 per cent from $16.76 billion to $21.14 billion.

India and South Korea's comprehensive economic partnership agreement came into force in 2011.

Exports to Japan showed a modest increase of 6.06 per cent, from $4.86 billion in 2018-19 to $5.16 billion in 2023-24, while imports rose by 38.56 per cent from $12.77 billion to $17.70 billion. India-Japan FTA was implemented in 2011.

Overall, India ranked 17th globally in exports, with a 1.8 per cent share in world trade. On the import front, the country is ranked 8th, holding a 2.8 per cent share in global trade.

India's merchandise exports in 2023-24 fell 3.11 per cent to $437.1 billion, while imports declined by 5.4 per cent to $677.2 billion in the last fiscal.

Ajay Srivastava is the co-founder of GTRI. He took VRS from Government of India in March, 2022. He was an Indian Trade Service officer with experience in trade policy making, WTO and FTA negotiations.