India's imports and exports of goods to GDP stood at over 30 percent in 2019. The country's leading import partners were China, the United States, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. Despite China being India's largest trading partner, the recurring conflicts between the two have paved the way for deeper integration of trade and investment from the United States. Unsurprisingly, imports from the United States have been increasing over the years, amounting to over 34 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.
The country's leading import product was manufactures, which accounted for over 28 billion U.S. dollars, followed by fuel and mining products, and agricultural products. Due to the enormous demand in the energy sector, there in crude oil imports had been increasing over the years. In 2018, there was a spike in biodiesel imports; the volume nearly tripled from the previous year. Yet, India had a negative trade balance as recent as 2018, where its imports surpassed its exports. However, all goods imported into the country are subjected to tariffs and tax rates based on the country of origin. In June 2020, the major import commodities such as gold, coal and petroleum products showed a negative growth of above 50 percent over the corresponding month last year.
The recent scuffle at the country's borders in May and June 2020 led to the boycott of Chinese companies and their products. Over the years, it was evident that Indian exports were minimal compared to lucrative imports from the trading giant; however, stabilizing the economic partnership seems bleak. With the "Make in India" strategy, the government encouraged Indian companies to manufacture products. Despite the desi products being well received, the country still has a massive market for products made in the United States, Japan, and Germany.
With the country's current economic slowdown and the ongoing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Indian economy, industries and businesses beneficial to economic growth are the need of the hour. Unemployment, decreased incomes, and frequent domestic lockdowns have drastically reduced consumer demand across the country. Besides, the prime minister has urged the citizens to be self-reliant and consume domestic products to benefit local businesses and save on foreign exchange.