India aims to cut trade deficit with increase in export of 200 products to China

New Delhi: India is structuring a foreign trade plan – under which it plans to boost shipments of around 200 products to China – in an effort to reduce its trade deficit.

As per reports, under the said plan, the subcontinent nation is in talks to seek duty waiver on a raft of products under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement.

New Delhi wants China to scrap levies on items including uncombed single cotton apart from castor oil, menthol, granite, diamonds and glass envelopes for picture tubes when negotiations for expansion come up in April 2019.

As per an analysis by the Modi administration, the Southeast Asian nations, Australia, and South Korea among others gain from the competitive advantage over India due to free trade agreements with China.

In marine products, especially frozen shrimps and prawns, India loses its competitive advantage due to tariffs while shipments from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are allowed duty free.

APTA, established in 1975, seeks to create a liberal trading regime between Bangladesh, India, Laos, Korea and Sri Lanka and China. Apart from seeking tariff concessions, the ongoing U.S. And China trade conflict also presents an opportunity to cut down the $56-billion trade gap it runs with China, a source was quoted as saying in media reports.

What is APTA?

  • The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), previously known as the Bangkok Agreement and renamed 2 November 2005, was signed in 1975. It is the oldest preferential trade agreement between countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Seven Participating States- Bangladesh, China, India, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, and Sri Lanka are the parties to the APTA.
  • The APTA pact does occupy market for 2921.2 million people and the size of this big market accounts US$14615.86 billion in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016.
  • APTA’s key objective is to hasten economic development among the seven participating states opting trade and investment liberalisation measures. In turn, the liberalisation measures are expected to contribute to intra-regional trade and economic strengthening through the coverage of merchandise goods and services, synchronised investment regime and free flow of technology transfer making.

(With inputs from Bloomberg)