Global trade relations
Economy of India
Until the liberalisation of 1991, India was largely and intentionally isolated from the world markets, to protect its economy and to achieve self reliance. Foreign trade was subject to import tariffs, export taxes and quantitative restrictions, while foreign direct investment FDI was restricted by upper limit equity participation, restrictions on technology transfer, export obligations and government approvals; these approvals were needed for nearly 60 Percent of new FDI in the industrial sector. The restrictions ensured that FDI averaged only around $200 million annually between 1985 and 1991; a large percentage of the capital flows consisted of foreign aid, commercial borrowing and deposits of non resident Indians. India s exports were stagnant for the first 15 years after independence, due to general neglect of trade policy by the government of that period. Imports in the same period, due to industrialisation being nascent, consisted predominantly of machinery, raw materials and consumer goods.Since liberalisation, the value of India s international trade has increased sharply, with the contribution of total trade in goods and services to the GDP rising from 16 Percent in 1990 91 to 47 Percent in 2008 10.India accounts for 1.44 Percent of exports and 2.12 Percent of imports for merchandise trade and 3.34 Percent of exports and 3.31 Percent of imports for commercial services trade worldwide.201 India s major trading partners are the European Union, China, the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates. In 2006 07, major export commodities included engineering goods, petroleum products, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, gems and jewellery, textiles and garments, agricultural products, iron ore and other minerals. Major import commodities included crude oil and related products, machinery, electronic goods, gold and silver. In November 2010, exports increased 22.3 Percent year on year to INR850.63 billion US$13 billion , while imports were up 7.5 Percent at INR1251.33 billion US$20 billion . Trade deficit for the same month dropped from INR468.65 billion US$7.4 billion in 2009 to INR400.7 billion US$6.3 billion in 2010.
India is a founding member of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade GATT since 1947 and its successor, the WTO. While participating actively in its general council meetings, India has been crucial in voicing the concerns of the developing world. For instance, India has continued its opposition to the inclusion of such matters as labour and environment issues and other non tariff barriers to trade into the WTO policies.