India’s exports to South Korea rise, but lag China

September 21st, 2008 - 5:22 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 21 (IANS) India’s share in South Korea’s imports has increased four-fold during 2002-07, but is still far behind that of China, according to an industry lobby report. Even though India’s exports to South Korea rose nearly four times from $1.25 billion to $4.62 billion and the country’s share in South Korea’s total imports improved from 0.8 percent to 1.3 percent in 2002-07, it fell short of China’s impressive showing, said the report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

China’s exports to South Korea recorded a robust increase from $17.4 billion to $63 billion during 2002-07 and now account for around 18 percent of that country’s global imports.

More importantly, the gap between India’s and China’s share has been steadily widening, the chamber said.

In the last five years, China’s exports to South Korea registered consistently high rate of growth, ranging between 26 and 35 percent. On the other hand, India’s exports witnessed a more fluctuating trend since 2003.

In 2007, exports from India to South Korea were surpassed by not only China but three Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore) also exported more to South Korea than India.

Crude and petroleum products constitute 55 percent of India’s total exports to South Korea, which also include gems and jewellery, iron and steel, organic chemicals, cotton textiles, oil-cake, iron ore, machineries and instruments.

If petroleum is excluded, India’s export figures would drop to just over $2 billion and its share in South Korea’s total non-oil imports come down steeply to a mere fraction (0.6 percent in 2007).

This reflects an overwhelming importance of petroleum in India’s trade with South Korea and consequently the need for stepping up exports of non-petroleum items.

The 12th round of negotiations on comprehensive economic partnership agreement between the two countries will be held Sep 22-25 in Seoul.

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