China becomes India's top trading partner: PHD Chamber

China has become India's top trading partner followed by USA and UAE, said an analysis conducted by Research Bureau of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

"India-China foreign trade has reached at USD 49.5bn with 8.7 percent share in India's total trade followed by USA at USD 46 bn with 8.1 percent share and UAE at USD 45.4 bn with 8 percent share during the first nine months (April-Dec 2013) of the current financial year 2013-14," the chamber said in a press release on Monday.

India's trade (exports and imports) with China was only of USD 7 bn in 2004 which increased to USD 38 bn in 2008 and to USD 65 bn in 2013, it said.

"India's direction of foreign trade has exhibited a structural shift during the last decade. Trade volume and trade share of emerging and developing economies has increased while the share of conventional trading partners has showed a declining trend," said Sharad Jaipur, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

"However, with the revival of demand in advanced economies, USA has emerged India's top exports destination once again. India's exports to USA during the first nine months (April-Dec 2013) of the current financial year 2013-14 were at USD 29.3 bn followed by UAE at USD 22.3 bn and China at USD 10.8 bn," said Jaipuria.

Last year, FY 2012-13, UAE was the top exports destination followed by USA and Singapore.

UK and Germany have shifted downwards, while Belgium, Italy eventually disappeared from the top ten export destinations. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia and Netherlands have entered the top ten export destinations.

These shifts amongst India's trading partners are the result of several external factors including volatile economic environment in the advanced economies, huge imports of POL commodities, rising imports from China including electronic goods, machinery, organic chemicals, project goods and fertilizers etc.

China has emerged the major source of imports for India during the recent years.  In 2004, imports from china were only of USD 4 bn which surged to USD 27 bn in 2008 and to USD 52 bn in 2013. 

China's share in India's imports has also doubled within the last decade from 5 percent in 2004 to about 11 percent in 2013 and this has led China to replace USA as India's major import source.

Besides USA, several other countries Belgium, UK, Korea and Japan have also shown declining trend and finally disappeared from India’s the top ten sources of imports, said the industry chamber.

One significant development in India's import scenario is the emergence of Saudi Arab, UAE Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq and Switzerland amongst India's top ten import sources, added release.