India cuts trade deficit with China by $10 billion in FY19 as imports go down

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Updated: April 14, 2019 7:22:34 AM

The trade deficit has seen a "whopping reduction" as a result of "high-level engagement, strategic planning, coordination with stakeholders, market research, etc.," Commerce and Industry minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted recently.

India had recently shared a list of 380 products with China that have great export potential in the neighbouring nation.

The trade deficit between India and China has seen a “whopping reduction” as a result of “high-level engagement, strategic planning, coordination with stakeholders, market research, sustained efforts, constant monitoring, (and) handholding with exporters,” Commerce and Industry minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted recently.

The deficit was down by $10 billion to $53 billion in Fy19 due to reduced imports along with new market opportunities following the US-China trade war, CNBC-TV18 reported citing officials.

While India’s imports from China was reduced by 8 per cent at $70 billion in FY19, the exports to China went up by 31 per cent at $17 billion during the same period.

A sustained dialogue between the two countries for giving better market access along with improved demand for Indian products in China due to high duties on the US goods by China led to the narrowing of the trade deficit, according to officials.

India had recently shared with China a list of 380 products including horticulture, textiles, chemicals and pharmaceuticals given the great export potential such products have in China, PTI had reported citing an official last week.

The commerce ministry, in a meeting on April 4, with stakeholders including export promotion councils and other government departments had discussed ways to boost exports to China.

Last month, India’s Ambassador to China Vikram Misri had told the Chinese newspaper Global Times that India is working with the Chinese side to increase Chinese market access for the Indian agricultural products.

Simultaneously, Misri had highlighted the growth of Chinese handset companies in India becoming among the largest distributors of phones in India such as Xiaomi. Misri welcomed these companies to set manufacturing bases in India that would help reduce the trade deficit.

“We would also like to see more Chinese investment in infrastructure, such as roads and railways, industrial parks and in the food processing sector,” Misri said.

Importantly, Chinese technology giants such as Alibaba, Ant Financial, Xiaomi, Shunwei Capital, Tencent etc., have backed leading Indian technology companies including Paytm, MakeMyTrip, Hike, Snapdeal, Ixigo etc.

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