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Trade Ties that Bind India and the World

February 2008
Trade Ties that Bind India and the World

Among the growing links that pull India and America closer to each other, trade and commerce occupy an important position. In 1990, according to India Brand Equity Foundation, bilateral trade in merchandise goods amounted to $5.6 billion. By 2006-07, fifteen years after liberalization, it rose to $31.5 billion. Some items that India exports to America are cotton, gems and jewelry, accessories, machinery and instruments. Imports include electronic goods, machinery, and transport equipment. The report adds that Indian companies—Tata Consultancy Services being a good example—have invested $6 billion in the U.S. and created 40,000 American jobs. There are now 11 Indian firms listed on the New York Stock Exchange and 7 on NASDAQ.

India’s bilateral trade with China has also exploded, reaching almost $35 billion in 2007. It was an increase of $10 billion (53 percent) over the previous year. About 20,000 Indians live in China, reportedly, and 200 Indian companies are based there. When it comes to overall foreign direct investment (FDI), only China is a more favored destination than India. And for the first time, India is a more desirable destination than China for long-term Japanese investments. There are 475 Japanese businesses operating in India. Britain and India have also drawn closer to each other, now that London alone has 10,000 Indian-owned businesses. India is racing past China and Japan to emerge as Britain’s largest Asian investor.

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