India has benefited overall from the free trade agreements signed with its trade partners from the perspective of trade balance and the only countries where percentage increase in import was higher than exports were Japan, South Korea and Sri Lanka.

“From the perspective of trade balance, India has gained in terms of 0.7 per cent increase in the trade surplus per year for manufactured products and of 2.3 per cent increase in trade surplus per year for total merchandise,” as per the Economic Survey 2019-20 tabled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Friday.

At least seven of the fourteen trade agreements with partners including Bhutan, Singapore, Chile, Nepal, the ASEAN, the MERCOSUR and Afghanistan have benefited exports of manufactured products from the country, it said. Four of the agreements including ones with Sri Lanka, Thailand, SAFTA and BIMSTEC have not to affect exports. It is only in the case of Japan and South Korea that exports of manufactured goods have suffered.

“The overall impact on India’s exports to the partners, with which the agreements have been signed, is 13.4 per cent for manufactured products and 10.9 per cent for total merchandise. The overall impact on imports is found to be lower at 12.7 per cent for manufactured products and 8.6 per cent for total merchandise,” it said.

The bilateral agreements with South Korea, Japan and Sri Lanka, are the only ones where the percentage increase in imports are higher than that of exports, the Survey added.