India expects a marginal decline in its annual trade deficit with China as global exports from Asia's biggest economy declined by 1.3 per cent year-on-year to $120.08 billion while its global imports increased 38.1 per cent to $129.23 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $9.15 billion.
On the other hand, India's trade deficit with China grew steadily over the last four years, rising from $36.17 billion in 2013-14 to $48.46 billion in 2014-15, to $52.69 billion in 2015-16 and further to $46.69 billion in 2016-17 (April-February). The trade deficit was $48.68 billion in April-February 2015-16.
Bilateral trade between India and China during 2013-14 stood at $65.89 billion, $72.36 billion in 2014-15, $70.71 billion in 2016-16 and $64.57 billion in 2016-17 (April-February), provisional figures released by the Chinese General Administration of Customs showed.
There was a marginal decline India's trade deficit with China during April-February 2016-17 by 4.1 per cent as total trade with it decreased marginally by 0.87 per cent to $64.57 billion. During this period, India's exports to China grew by 8.69 per cent to $8.94 billion while India's imports from China saw a decline of 2.26 per cent to $55.63 billion, resulting in a decline in India's trade deficit with China by 4.1 per cent.
China's ministry of commerce and India's ministry of commerce and industry had jointly signed a five-year development programme for economic and trade cooperation in September 2014 in order to lay down a medium-term roadmap for promoting balanced and sustainable development of economic and trade relations between the two countries, on the principle of equality and mutual benefit.
The five-year programme states ''trade deficit with China is a matter of high concern for India. Against this background and in the spirit of mutual benefit, India and China shall endeavour to strengthen cooperation and gradually achieve bilateral trade balance over the next 5 years. India and China shall further endeavour to increase bilateral trade in services particularly Information Technology (IT) and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) in the next 5 years.''
The government has also taken various measures to extend support to exporters to increase exports to all countries, including China.