India-China trade declines by over 10% to $66.47 bn in 2012
According to the figures released by the Chinese Commerce Ministry, India's trade deficit mounted to USD 28.87 billion due to steady decline of export of iron ore.
The deficit grew by USD 1.79 billion compared to 2011, it showed.
The bilateral trade touched USD 61.74 billion in 2010 posting a high growth at 42.66 per cent followed by 19.71 per cent in 2011 with USD 73.9 billion.
This is the first time in recent years the bilateral trade registered negative growth, which according to officials was in consistent with the decline in global trade.
Indian exports to China declined by 19.6 per cent to USD 18.8 billion last year compared USD 23.41 billion in 2011 and USD 20.86 billion in 2010.
Significantly China's exports to India, which in the past had a high volume of growth, declined by 5.7 per cent to USD 47.67, the data showed.
China's exports touched USD 50.49 billion in 2011 from 40.88 billion in 2010.
While the two countries were confident that the trade volumes would pick up, there is a great deal of scepticism about Indian exports making much headway as China has not opened up much on IT, and Pharmaceuticals fronts despite high voltage campaigns by India.
Top Chinese leaders also have been openly acknowledging that the high trade Indian deficit is a matter of concern for bilateral trade, that is aimed at reaching the USD 100 billion target in 2015.
"China pays close attention to the trade imbalance. We have already encouraged Chinese companies to import more from India and will continue to do so," China's top negotiator with India Dai Bingguo, had said in a recent interview to PTI.
He was confident that USD 100 billion set by both the countries for 2015 would be achieved.
"As neighbours and large emerging countries, China and India enjoy huge potential and broad prospects for economic cooperation. We are confident that, by working together, we will reach the goal of USD 100 billion of two-way trade by 2015," he said.
The two countries held high level strategic dialogue in December last year raising the prospects of increase in trade and investment between both the countries this year.