Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Jul 06, 2005
Industry & Economy
India's '03 trade GDP ratio at 30 pc: WTO
Chennai , July 5
ADDING trade in commercial services to merchandise trade, the WTO estimated India's trade to GDP ratio for 2003 to have been 29.8 per cent.
Commercial service exports, which grew at an annual rate of 19 per cent between 1995 and 2003, accounted for as much as one-third of the $85-billion of goods and services exported in 2003.
The proportion of commercial services to total imports, at 28 per cent, was not very much lower. Total imports of goods and services together were estimated at $99 billion.
`Other commercial services' accounted for 76 per cent of service exports, with transportation and travel accounting for 11 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.
The proportion of `other commercial services' in service imports was lower; but, at 58 per cent, not quite as low as one would have expected.
Transportation and travel accounted for 30 per cent and 12 per cent respectively of total service imports.
Seventy six per cent of merchandise exports consisted of manufactured items, against 50 per cent of merchandise imports.
Imports and exports of agricultural products were about evenly balanced.
Though agricultural products accounted for 12.6 per cent of total merchandise exports and only 8.3 per cent of merchandise imports, this disparity was largely offset by the large difference between total merchandise exports and imports, which aggregated $57 billion and $71 billion respectively.
Agricultural exports and imports stood at around $7 billion and $6 billion respectively.
In the case of `mining products', imports, at $23 billion, were very much higher than exports, which stood at a mere $6 billion.
This may largely be due to the import figure, which includes oil and natural gas, which are not separately mentioned in the report.
The general picture is one of an economy in which primary products occupy a much larger portion of imports than exports. Twenty two per cent of the total exports were channelled towards the EU, 18 per cent went to the US, 10 per cent to China, together with Hong Kong, and another 8 per cent to the UAE.
The top four export destinations thus accounted for 57.5 per cent of total exports. So, as far as imports are concerned, the EU was way ahead of the rest, with a 19-per cent share.
The US was a distant second with 6 per cent.
The top five countries of origin for India's imports together accounted for only 38 per cent of total imports.
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