India eyes bigger share in global trade

By BLOOMBERG

NEW DELHI • India will focus on boosting its exports to the US and other global markets as Chinese shipments become unattractive amid a trade war between the world’s biggest economies, the country’s trade minister said.

New Delhi is focusing on a handful of items including automotive parts, chemicals, electrical equipment, among others, after the US and China slapped reciprocal duties on each other’s goods, Minister Suresh Prabhu said in an interview. India’s share in global merchandise exports is at 1.7% compared to China’s 12.8%.

“The ongoing trade tensions between the US and China may have positive impact,” Prabhu said in a written reply to questions.

“The long-term strategy is to focus on enhancing manufacturing capabilities with focus not only on the US, but also keeping in view the demands in other markets, as well.”

With US President Donald Trump expected to go ahead with another round of tariffs on US$200 billion (RM838 billion) of imports from China in January, India looks to gain from opportunities from the dispute.

South-East Asia is already seeing a boom in foreign direct investment as the trade war prompts companies to shift production to the region.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has been exploring ways to close the gap between exports and imports which reached US$17.1 billion in October.

The government has imposed some import curbs to ease pressure on the current account deficit.