2011 Shows China Trade Increase with Pakistan, India, Iran and North Korea

Recently released trade figures for 2011 have revealed a significant increase in trade between China and Pakistan, India, Iran and North Korea. Bilateral trade between Pakistan and China reached US$10.6 billion in 2011, being an overall growth of 22 percent when compared to the 2010 figure of US$8.7 billion. Imports from, and exports to, Pakistan increased by roughly the same percentage, and Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, Masood Khan, expressed his satisfaction with the figures, noting that the goal of reaching US$15 billion in bilateral trade within two to three years may be reached earlier than expected. He urged that this should not make Pakistan businesses complacent, and that they should take every opportunity to increase exports to China. Beijing and Pakistan have Free Trade Agreements on services goods and investments and have met twice in the past three years to discuss strategies for boosting trade between the two countries.

Trade between India and China also hit record levels in 2011, with Indian authorities expressing concern over the increased trade deficit in Beijing’s favor. Registering an increase of US$12.2 billion in 2011, bilateral trade reached US$73.9 billion for the year. In an interview relating to the 2011 trade figures, India’s Ambassador to China, S Jaishankar noted that the matter is being addressed with efforts being made to increase market access in China for Indian products, particularly in the markets for pharmaceutical products and information technology. The trade deficit will be on the agenda for discussion at the BRICS Commerce Meeting to be held in New Delhi on 28 March.

The withdrawal of western companies in response to sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear developments appears to have benefited China, with a 55 percent increase in trade between the two countries pushing bilateral trade figures to more than US$45 billion. China is Iran’s top trade partner and Iran is the third largest provider of oil to the Asian economic giant. Bilateral trade between China and North Korea climbed by 62 percent in 2011 with exports to China reaching US$2.46 billion and imports topping US$3.17 billion. The increase in exports to China is attributed to sales of mineral resources such as iron ore and coal.