Beijing, Mar 8: The bilateral trade between India and China was recorded at $84.44 billion last year, despite the tensions over 73-day Doklam standoff. According to the data of the Chinese General Administration of Customs, a rare novelty of the bilateral trade otherwise dominated by the Chinese exports was about 40 per cent increase of Indian exports to China in 2017 totalling to $16.34 billion.

The bilateral trade in 2017 rose by 18.63 per cent year-on-year to reach $84.44 billion. However, it is still about $20 billion short but, the officials on both the sides expect it to pick up further this year as both the governments are trying to scale down tensions and step-up the normalisation process. (China Building Helipads, Trenches, Sentry Post in Doklam Area: Nirmala Sitharaman)

Notably, the bilateral trade stagnated around $70 billion for several years despite the leaders of both the countries setting $100 billion as target for 2015.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit China in June this year. He is likely to participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Qingdao.

The new commerce minister of China, to be named later this week, is also expected to pay a visit to India in the coming weeks to hold talks on ways to improve bilateral trade.

Noteworthy, the trade deficit continues to remain high at $51.75 billion in 2017 even as the bilateral trade reached a new landmark. According to India’s trade figures, the deficit had crossed $52 billion last year and India has been pressing China to open the IT and Pharmaceutical sectors for Indian firms to reduce the massive trade deficit.

India has emerged as the seventh largest export destination for Chinese products, and the 24th largest exporter to China. Significantly, diamonds along with copper, iron ore, organic chemicals and cotton yarn contributed to the increase Indian exports to China.

On the other hand, China’s exports were dominated by electrical machinery and equipment registering an increase of 28.23 percent to $21.77 billion. Chinese exports were also led by organic chemicals, worth $6.56 billion in 2017.

(With inputs from PTI)