Foreign trade has played a crucial role in India's economy growth. The composition and direction of India's foreign trade has undergone substantial changes, particularly, after the liberalization process which began in the early 1990s. Our major exports now includes manufacturing goods such as Engineering Goods, Petroleum Products, Chemicals & Related Products, Gems & Jewellery, Textiles, Electronic Goods, etc. which constitute over 80 per cent of our export basket. On the other hand, major import items constitute capital goods and intermediates which not only support the manufacturing sector but also supply raw-materials for the export oriented units. Over the years, India's trade with countries of Asia & ASEAN and Africa has gone up substantially. Apart from that, India is now a major player in global trading system and all the major sectors of Indian economy are linked to world outside either directly or indirectly through international trade.
(P) Provisional data
|Year||Exports||Imports||Total Trade||Trade Deficit|
India's total external trade (exports plus imports including re-exports) in the year 1990-91 stood at Rs.91,893 crore. Since then, this has witnessed continuous increase with occasional downturns. During 2008-09 the value of India's external trade reached Rs.20,72,438 crore. A statement indicating India's total export, import, total value of foreign trade and balance of trade from the year 1991-92 to 2008-09, in rupee terms, is given in table above.
India's exports during 2008-09 reached a level of Rs.7,66,935 crore registering a growth of 16.9 per cent. In US $ terms, exports reached a level of US$168.7 billion, registering a growth of 3.5 per cent as compared to a growth of 29.1 per cent during the previous year. The growth of exports during the year has exhibited a significant slow-down from September 2008 onwards. While, during the first half of the year 2008-09, April-September, exports increased by 31.3 per cent with almost all the major commodity groups, except increased by 31.3 per cent with almost all the major commodity groups, except marine products, handicrafts and carpets, recording significant growth. In the second half of the year 2008-09, October-March, exports recorded a decline of (-) 19.2 per cent with almost all the commodity groups recording significant negative growth.
During 2008-09 imports increased to Rs.13,05,503 from the level of Rs.10,12,312 crore in 2007-08 registering growth of 29.0 per cent in rupee terms. In US $ terms, imports reached a level of US $ 287.8 billion in 2008-09 registering a growth of 14.4 per cent. Oil imports were valued at US $ 93.2 billion, which was higher by 16.9 per cent over the previous year. Non-Oil imports increased to US $ 194.6 billion, which was higher by 13.2 per cent. Items which registered significant growth are Pearl, Precious & Semi-Precious Stones, Crude & Manufactured Fertilizer, Coal, Inorganic Chemicals, Project Goods, etc. Import of Gold and Transport Equipment registered significant decline.
The Trade deficit during 2008-09 increased to Rs.(-) 538568 crore as against Rs.(-) 356449 crore during 2007-08. In US $ terms, trade deficit increased to US & 119.1 billion from a level of US & 88.5 billion during 2007-08.
India has trading relations with all the major trading blocks and geographical regions of the world. Region and sub region-wise spread of India's during 2007-08 and 2008-09 as per data available up to 2008-09 (April-February) is given in table 7.2. During the period 2008-09 (April-February), the share of Asia and ASEAN region comprising South Asia, East Asia, Mid-Eastern and Gulf countries accounted for 51.4 per cent of India's total exports. The share of Europe and America in India's exports stood at 23.8 per cent and 16.5 per cent respectively of which EU countries (27) comprises 22.3 per cent. During the period, USA (12.0 per cent), has been the most important country of export destination following by United Arab Emirates (10.8 per cent), China (5.1 per cent), Singapore (4.7 per cent), Netherlands (3.7 per cent), Hong Kong (3.7 per cent), U.K. (3.6 per cent), Germany (3.4 per cent), Saudi Arabia (3.0 per cent), Belgium (2.6 per cent) and Italy (2.2 per cent).
Asia and ASEAN accounted for 61.7 per cent of India's total imports during the period followed by Europe (18.7 per cent) and America (10.1 per cent). Among individual countries the share of China stood highest at (10.7 per cent) followed by Saudi Arabia (7.1 per cent), UAE (6.4 per cent) and USA (6.0 per cent), Iran (4.3 percent), Switzerland (4.2 per cent), Germany (3.6 per cent), Kuwait (3.4 per cent), Nigeria (3.2 per cent), and Iraq (2.8 per cent).
(P) Provisional Figures
|Region||Exports (April-Feb)||Imports (April-Feb)|
|1.1 EU countries 27||1,23,219||1,55,266||1,27,315||1,61,593|
|1.2 Other WE countries||9,553||10,123||47,881||62,115|
|1.3 East Europe||379||536||138||106|
|2.1 Southern Africa||13,058||12,393||17,868||29,377|
|2.2 West Africa||12,851||13,204||35,614||48,514|
|2.3 Central Africa||934||1,372||189||632|
|2.4 East Africa||15,126||18,687||1,158||1,158|
|3.1 North America||79,880||89,476||56,281||80,825|
|3.2 Latin America||10,019||45,490||23,498||40,556|
|4. Asia and Asean||2,96,287||3,57,982||5,43,551||7,39,622|
|4.1 East Asia||5,070||6,719||30,783||40,230|
|4.4 NE Asia||92,974||96,846||1,64,030||2,28,746|
|4.5 South Asia||32,659||35,020||7,805||7,513|
|5. CIS & Baltics||6,101||7,623||14,238||28,793|
|5.1 CARs Countries||826||1,047||419||1,157|
|5.2 Other CIS Countries||5,275||6,577||13,818||27,636|
|6. Unspecified Region||1,482||4,346||2,666||4,710|
Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 11-01-2011