Indian exports to China surged by 75 per cent in the first quarter this year, with a considerable increase in textiles and stones and precious metals shipments bringing down the trade deficit, according to data released by the Chinese government Friday.
Overall trade with China grew by about 66 per cent during the period, raising hopes of achieving the trade target of $60 billion this year. The figures released by the Chinese customs brought some cheer to Indian diplomats and trade officials in Beijing as Indian exports - which declined radically last year and resulted in a $16 billion dollar trade deficit - have shown significant improvement.
According to the trade data, Indian exports to China touched $5.81 billion in the period between January and March this year as against $3.31 billion last year, when overall trade volumes declined to about $44 billion due to the global economic downturn. The increase was stated to be 75 per cent.
However compared to 2008, during which the trade volumes touched a record $52 billion, this year's quarterly exports from India still fell short by $53 million. The overall trade between the two countries this quarter touched $14.14 billion against $13.24 billion in 2008 and $9.3 billion in 2009.
The new trade figures brought cheer to China too, as its exports to India went up by 38 per cent compared to 2009. Chinese exports in Q1 were also higher than the $6.9 billion figure for exports to India during the same period in 2008.
The trade deficit for India was $2.5 billion for the first quarter, slightly lower than the $2.7 billion figure in the first quarter of 2008. The two countries had set $60 billion as the trade target this year and the first quarterly figures showed that they are on their way to reaching it, Indian officials said.