India's annual exports jumped 25% to cross the "magic" $100 billion mark, but its trade deficit also swelled as imports grew even faster, a minister said April 7.
Exports rose to $101 billion in the fiscal year ended on March 31 but imports increased more -- by 32% to $140 billion. This widened the trade gap to $39 billion, up from $25 billion in the previous financial year, Trade Minister Kamal Nath said.
Oil accounted for 30% of the fast-expanding economy's import bill, the minister said. He noted that the country would have a $4 billion trade surplus if oil imports were excluded.
Indian exports have jumped 60% in two years under the government's policy aimed at doubling India's percentage of global merchandise trade within five years, Nath said. India's share of global trade stands at just under 1%.
Nath announced several measures to increase exports including auto components. Auto parts manufacturers will be able to import new cars for research more easily.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006