India’s imports from China increased 7.9% over six years, but trade deficit narrowed

Amiti Sen | | Updated on: Dec 02, 2021
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Many imported items meet the demand of fast expanding telecom, power industry, says Minister.

Imports from China over the last six years have increased 7.94 per cent, to $65.21 billion in 2020-21 from $60.41 billion in 2014-15, with imports static in 2020-21 over the previous year, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry Anupriya Patel has said in a reply to the Lok Sabha.

Many of the items imported from China meet the demand of fast expanding sectors like telecom and power in India. Still, the Minister stated that efforts are on to increase domestic production, explaining the necessity for such imports.

“Some of our imports from China like the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and drug formulations provide the Indian pharma industry raw material for producing finished goods which are also exported out of India,” per the reply submitted to the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

The major import items from the country are telecom instruments, computer hardware and peripherals, fertilizers, electronic components/ instruments, project goods, organic chemicals, drug intermediates, consumer electronics and electrical machinery.

Rise in exports

Exports from India to China over the last six years have increased at a higher rate of 77.17 per cent, although in value terms, it remains much lower than imports from the country. Exports rose to $ 21.19 billion in 2020-21 from $ 11.96 billion in 2014-15. Thus, India’s trade deficit declined to $44 billion in 2020-21 from $48.45 billion in 2014-15.

“India has made sustained efforts to achieve a more balanced trade with China, including bilateral engagements to address the non-tariff barriers on Indian exports to China,” the reply pointed out. The government has also launched schemes such as Production Linked Incentive Schemes to promote domestic manufacturing capacities in critical sectors such as key starting materials/drug intermediates and APIs in addition to electronic components and mobiles, white goods (ACs and LEDs), specialty steel and drones & drone components. “These schemes will promote domestic manufacturing capacities and attract investment and reduce dependency on imports from China,” the Minister added.

In the April-September 2021 period, India imported goods worth $42.33 billion from China and its exports to the country were valued at $12.26 billion resulting in a trade deficit of $30.07 billion.

Published on December 02, 2021

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