Trade in goods between India and the European Union (EU) more than doubled in value during the period 2000-2008, EuAsiaNews reported on Wednesday.
Exports rose from 13.7 billion euros to 31.6 billion euros (about $46 bn), while imports increased from 12.8 billion to 29.5 billion euros (about $43 bn).
As a result, the EU surplus in trade with India increased from 0.8 billion euros in 2000 to 2.1 billion euros ($3.1 billion) in 2008, according to Eurostat, the EU's statistical office which released the figures in Brussels on Wednesday on the occasion of the 10th European Union-India summit that will begin in New Delhi on Friday.
India accounted for 2.4 per cent of EU exports and 1.9 per cent of EU imports in 2008, and was the EU's 10th most important trading partner.
In the first half of 2009, the value of EU exports to India fell to 12.7 billion euros, compared with 15.7 billion euros in the first half of 2008, and imports decreased to 12.9 billion euros from 14.9 billion euros.
The EU trade balance with India moved from a surplus of 0.8 billion euros in the first half of 2008 to a deficit of 0.2 billion euros in the same period of 2009.
The fall in the value of EU trade with India, recorded between the first half of 2008 and the first half of 2009, is in line with the general downward trend in the EU total external trade over the same period, Eurostat noted.
In 2008, the EU exported 9.0 billion euros worth of services to India, while imports amounted to 7.4 billion euros, meaning the EU had a surplus of 1.5 billion euros in trade in services with India, compared with a surplus of 1.5 billion in 2006 and 2.5 billion euros in 2007.
The surplus in services in 2008 was mainly due to transportation (+1.1 billion) and other business services (+0.8 billion). The largest deficits were observed for travel (-0.9 billion) and computer and information services (-0.3 billion). India accounted for 1.7 per cent of total extra-EU trade in services.
Among the 27 EU member states, Germany (8.1 billion euros or 26 per cent of EU exports) was by far the largest exporter to India in 2008, followed by Britain (5.1 billion or 16 per cent), Belgium (5.0 billion or 16 per cent), France (3.3 billion or 11 per cent) and Italy (3.1 billion or 10 per cent).
Britain (5.2 billion or 18 per cent) was the largest importer, followed by Germany (4.8 billion or 16 per cent), Belgium (3.8 billion or 13 per cent), Italy (3.4 billion or 12 per cent) and France (2.9 billion or 10 per cent).
The largest surpluses in trade with India were observed in Germany (+3.3 billion euros), Belgium (+1.2 billion) and Sweden (+0.8 billion), while the largest deficits were registered in Spain (-1.4 billion) and the Netherlands (-1.1 billion).
More than 80 per cent of EU exports to India in 2008 were machinery and vehicles, while other manufactured articles accounted for more than 50 per cent of imports.