New Delhi: China regained its position as India’s top trade partner in 2020, as New Delhi’s reliance on imported machines outweighed its efforts to curb commerce with Beijing after a bloody border conflict, the media reported.
Two-way trade between the longstanding economic and strategic rivals stood at $77.7 billion last year, according to provisional data from India’s commerce ministry.
Although that was lower than the previous year’s $85.5 billion total, it was enough to make China the largest commercial partner displacing the U.S. — bilateral trade with whom came in at $75.9 billion amid muted demand for goods in the middle of a pandemic, reports Bloomberg.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi banned hundreds of Chinese apps, slowed approvals for investments from the neighbor and called for self-reliance after a deadly clash along their disputed Himalayan border, India continues to rely heavily on Chinese-made heavy machinery, telecom equipment and home appliances. As a result, the bilateral trade gap with China was at almost $40 billion in 2020, making it India’s largest.
Total imports from China at $58.7 billion were more than India’s combined purchases from the U.S. and the U.A.E, which are its second- and third-largest trade partners, respectively. Heavy machinery imports accounted for 51% of India’s purchases from its neighbor.