India Trade Relations

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India being an emerging economy of the world has a strong economic policy which stresses on developing and strengthening bilateral trade relations with different nations across the world.

Top Ten Trading Partners of India

As of 2008-09, India’s top ten trading partners and the trade carried out with them has been summarised as

Country Trade 2008-09
(Rs. In crores)
Trade Balance
CHINA 1,63,202 -92,676
USA 1,55,353 12,254
UAE 1,52,668 -1,934
SAUDI ARABIA 1,05,602 -64,303
GERMANY 67,602 -19,497
SINGAPORE 63,280 2,934
U K 50,144 524
HONG KONG 50,129 1,772
BELGIUM 41,552 -5,294
NETHERLAND 33,099 19,049

  • Bilateral Trade, China and India
    India and China share a strong bilateral trade relation which is indicated by the fact that seven yearly agreements on trade have been signed since 1986. Statistics show that the total trade volume between China and India accounted to only US$ 265 million, whereas in 1999 it increased to US$ 1,988 million. In 2000, this figure raised to US$2,910 million.

  • Major Items Exported from China
    Raw silk, beans, sheet and paper pulp, rosin, coke, medical product, light industry product, textile product, chemical industry product, food, metal product, machinery facility, etc are the major items.
    Chief imports from India: This includes iron ore sand, chrome ore, gem, steel, leather, plant oil, southern medicine, raw material for chemical industry, etc.
Bilateral Trade, USA and India
Bilateral and Multilateral Trade Relations
The U.S and India are not bounded by any particular agreement of trade regulations and policies. They follow the trade policies of World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Top Five Traded Commodities

Top products exported to India
This includes air machinery, electrical machinery, optical and medical instruments and aircraft.

Top products exported to U.S
The list includes jewellery, woven apparel, knitted apparel, misc. textile articles, machinery

Bilateral Trade, U.A.E and India
Few Important Bilateral Treaties between U.A.E and India:-
  • Extradition Treaty, Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in Criminal Matters & Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in Civil Matters: This was signed in New Delhi in October, 1999 and was implemented in May 2000.

  • Agreement on Juridical and Judicial Cooperation in civil and commercial matters: This agreement was signed in New Delhi in October, 1999.

  • Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances: This was signed in New Delhi in January6, 1994.

  • Civil Aviation Agreement: This treaty was signed in March, 1984.

  • Cultural Agreement: This was meant to enhance cultural exchange programmes.

  • Defence Cooperation Agreement: This agreement was signed in June, 2003

  • Information Cooperation Agreement: The Emirates News Agency (WAM) and the Press Trust of India (PTI) signed this agreement in New Delhi in April 2000.

  • Channel Carriage Agreement: This was signed on 24.09.2000 at Abu Dhabi
MOU on Manpower Sourcing
The figures of trade between the U.A.E and India have been summarized as
S.No. 2002-03 2003-04 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
1. Export 3,327.48 5,125.61 7,347.88 8591.79 10,671.88
2. % Growth 54.04 43.36 16.93
3. Import 956.99 2059.85 4641.10 4354.08 7500.61
4. % Growth 115.24 125.31 -6.18
5. Total Trade 4284.47 7185.46 11,988.98 12,945.87 18,172.49
6. % Growth 67.71 66.85 7.98
7. Trade Balance 48.3953 45.9513 44.9315 44.2735 46.00
(Values in US$ Million)

Bilateral Trade, Saudi Arabia and India
Bilateral trade history between the two nations is several centuries old. India stands in the 4th position when it comes to trade with Saudi Arabia. As of 2004-05, the value of the bilateral trade between the two countries has exceeded US $ 8.76 billion. Crude oil worth US $ 6.13 billion was imported during the period. Saudi Arabia occupies the15th spot in the world market for Indian exports. Saudi Arabia also accounts for 5.5% of India's global imports.

Trade figures for the last nine years are as follows
Indo-Saudi Trade (million US $)
Year (Apr-Mar) *Imports from
Saudi Arabia
Exports to Saudi Arabia Total trade Indian export increase
over previous year(%)
1998-1999 1831.47 774.29 2605.76 12.23
1999-2000 2419.24 742.50 3161.74 -4.11
2000-2001 621.12 822.94 1444.06 10.83
2001-2002 463.99 826.43 129 0.42 0 .42
2002-2003 504.72 940.74 445.47 13.83
2003-2004 737.77 1,123.31 1861.08 19.41
2004-2005 1301.15 1412.06 2713.21 25.71
2005-2006 1632.34 1809.77 3442.11 28.17
2006-2007 13,383.90 2,588.18 15,972.08 43.01
Note: Imports figures for 2000-2001 and the later years do not include import of Petroleum Products

Bilateral Trade, Germany and India
  • Economic Relations between India and Germany
    Indo- German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) has eventually expanded into the largest foreign chamber of commerce and trade in India and also as the biggest German bi-national Chamber globally. In 2006 the IGGC celebrated its 50th year of trade and commerce relations. India also partnered with the Germans in the 2006 Hannover Fair, which is recognised as the world’s largest technology fair. The IGGC have set up a goal to achieve trade up to 20 billion Euros by 2012.

  • Figures of Indo-German Export Market
    Overall the export industry is growing day by day and the figures indicate a rise in the trade between the two countries. The textile industry accounts for the highest trade with figures of export touching Euro 1.5 Billion. The second position is occupied by the chemical products which are worth about Euro 585 million. Data processing, electronic and optical equipment with €579 million come next to it. The fourth and fifth spots are taken by machinery with €418 million and leather products with €396 million.

  • German Exports to India
    Germany, which is one of the world’s leading exporters stands on the fifth position globally as India’s trade associate. It is also the largest trading partner within the European Union. Germany shares a notable 11 per cent of the total business dealings between EU and India. German exports to India grew to €8.2 billion, advancing at a rate of over 12 per cent in 2008. In 2009, this figure reduced by 1.2 percent to arrive at €8.1 billion.

Bilateral Trade, Singapore and India

  • Bilateral ties have been on the rise with India ever since Singapore’s independence in 1965.

  • Among the ASEAN countries, Singapore is the largest investor in India and the second leading country amongst all countries with foreign direct investment (FDI) into India, amounting to US$ 2.4 billion in 2009-10.As per data given by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) the collective FDI inflows from Singapore to India during April 2000 and March 2010 were US$ 10.2 billion

  • Crude petroleum, Refined Motor spirit, Petroleum oils, Polished diamonds for Jewellery, Polished industrial diamonds, articles of Jewellery, Aluminum Unwrought, Aluminum sheets, Parts & accessories of computers, Synthetic fabrics, Silk fabrics etc are some of the chief items exported to Singapore from India.

  • Parts and accessories of Computers and Computer peripherals, Integrated Circuits, Cellular phones, CD Roms, Styrene, P-Xylene, O-Xylene, Polypropylene, Vinyl Acetate, Topped Crudes, Parts of boring and sinking machinery. Nickel, Tin (unwrought) is some of the items imported by India from Singapore.
  • Bilateral Trade, UK and India So far as Europe goes, the UK is one of the most prime business destinations. Out of the 1200 Indian firms in the EU, 700 carry out their operations from the UK. The single largest manufacturing company in the UK is Tata.

  • Bilateral trade came out to be £11.5 bn in 2009 and £ 12.6 bn in 2008.UK exports to India in 2009 were £ 4.7 bn (£4,687mn) and £ 6.8 bn (£6,763mn) was the figure of imports from India.

  • The largest European investor in India is the UK and fourth on a global basis with £3.87bn of FDI stock in 2008. Indian FDI statistics in the UK stood at £3.43 bn at the end of 2008.

  • Main exports to UK FROM India during 2007-08 are ready made garments cotton including accessories, petroleum (Crude & Products), machinery and instruments, manufactures of metals, gems & Jewellery, Drugs, Pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals etc

  • Main imports from UK to India during 2007-08 include pearls precious semi-precious stones, machinery except electric and electronic, electronic goods, silver, metalifers ores and metal scrap etc items.
Bilateral Trade, Hong Kong and India

  • Bilateral agreements between IndiaSeveral agreements have been signed between India and Hong Kong over the years namely
  1. Customs Co-operation Arrangement
  2. Surrender of Fugitive Offenders
  3. Air Services Agreement
  4. Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters
Bilateral Trade

  • An increase of 39.4% in 2010 compared to 2009 was recorded in the bilateral trade between the two countries. The figures of trade reached US $ 18,749.
  • As of 2010, India is the 7th largest trading partner of Hong Kong.
  • India- Hong Kong trade has been summarized below for the last few years

2008 2009 2010
Exports/ Imports Total Growth Total Growth Total Growth
India to Hong Kong 7438 21.5% 6744 -9.3% 9204 36.5%
Hong Kong to India
Domestic Exports 120 -13.2% 104 -13.35 124 20.0%
Total Exports to India 6692 50 6703 0.2 9545 42.4

(In US$ Million)

Bilateral Trade, Belgium and India

Economic and Trade Relations
  • Belgium’s trade with India mostly consists of gems and jewellery. It accounts for about 75% of the total trade.
  • Information and communication technology, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and automotive are some of the promising areas for trade with India.
  • The major export items to Belgium are natural/ cultured pearls, precious stones and metals, textiles and articles, Iron and steel etc.
  • The major import items from Belgium are natural/ cultured pearls, precious stones and metals, chemical products, plastic and rubber, pharmaceutical products etc

Trade between India Belgium 2004-2009

Year Indian Exports Indian Imports Trade Balance Total Trade
2004 2.2 4.2 -2 6.4
2005 2.4 5.1 -2.7 7.5
2006 3 4.6 -1.6 7.6
2007 3.3 5.3 -2 8.6
2008 3.8 5 -1.2 8.8
2009 2.6 4.5 -2 7.1
Growth 2004-2009 18% 7% 195 11%
Jan-Sept, 2010 2.14 4.88 -2.74 7.02

Value in Billion Euros
Bilateral Trade, Netherlands and India

Bilateral Economic Relations
  • The Dutch Trade Board has identified India as one of the important target country for trade.
  • As of 2007 statistics, export from Netherlands increased by 44%.
  • Over the last decade the bilateral trade has increased significantly to Euro 3.3 billion in 2007 and there is future scope for further investment.

  • Trade between India Netherlands

    ( x Euro 1.000.000)
    Year Imports
    ( India to Netherlands)
    ( Netherlands to India)
    2004 1044,4 777,1
    2005 1377,8 888,2
    2006 1659,1 1097,8
    2007 1777,4 1584,2