PTI New Delhi, October 22 The US has emerged as India’s biggest trading partner during the first half of the current financial year despite global economic uncertainties and declining exports and imports, according to government data. According to the provisional data of the commerce ministry, the bilateral trade between India and the US has declined by 11.3 per cent to USD 59.67 billion during April-September 2023 against USD 67.28 billion in the same period last year. Exports to the US have come down to USD 38.28 billion during April-September 2023 from USD 41.49 billion a year ago. Imports also declined to USD 21.39 billion during the first six months of the current fiscal compared to USD 25.79 billion in the same period last year. Similarly, the two-way trade between India and China also dipped by 3.56 per cent to USD 58.11 billion. Exports to China contracted marginally to USD 7.74 billion during the first half of the current fiscal from USD 7.84 billion in the year-ago period. Imports fell to USD 50.47 billion from USD 52.42 billion a year earlier. Trade experts believe that though exports and imports are declining between India and the US due to global demand slowdown, the growth rate will enter a positive zone soon. Despite this, the trend of increasing bilateral trade with the US will continue in the coming years as New Delhi and Washington are engaged in further strengthening the economic ties, they said. Chairman of the CII national committee on EXIM Sanjay Budhia has earlier stated that an early solution for restoration of GSP benefits by the US to Indian exporters is the need of the hour as it would help further boost the bilateral trade. Mumbai-based exporter Khalid Khan said that going by the trend, the US will continue to be the biggest trading partner of India despite the global challenges. Ludhiana-based exporter SC Ralhan said that the trade between New Delhi and Washington will continuously grow in the coming years. “The US should seriously consider restoration of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits to domestic exporters as it would significantly help boost trade,” Ralhan noted. America is one of the few countries with which India has a trade surplus. The US was India’s biggest trading partner in 2022-23. The bilateral trade between India and the US rose 7.65 per cent to USD 128.55 in 2022-23 against USD 119.5 billion in 2021-22. It was USD 80.51 billion in 2020-21. Earlier, China was India’s top trading partner from 2013-14 till 2017-18 and also in 2020-21. Before China, the UAE was the country’s largest trading partner. In 2022-23, the UAE, with USD 76.16 billion bilateral trade, was the third largest trading partner of India, followed by Saudi Arabia (USD 52.72 billion) and Singapore (USD 35.55 billion). During April-September 2023, the bilateral trade between India and the UAE stood at USD 36.16 billion. #China

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