The exchange of goods between people, companies, states or countries is called trade. The trade within a locality or between towns or villages of a state is called local trade. The trade between two states is called state-level trade. The trade between two countries is called international trade.
International trade is the measure of the health of a country’s economy and has two components. The goods purchased from other countries are called imports while the goods sold to other countries are called exports. The difference between the exports and imports of a country is called its balance of trade.
When the value of the exports of a country is more than the value of its imports, the country is said to have a favourable balance of trade. When the value of the imports of a country is more than the value of its exports, the country is said to have an unfavourable balance of trade.
The major products showing a rising trend in exports from India are agriculture and allied products, ores and minerals, gems and jewellery, chemicals and allied products, engineering goods and petroleum products.
The main categories of products imported into India are petroleum and petroleum products, pearls and gemstones, inorganic chemicals, coal, coke and briquettes and machinery. The bulk imports group accounts for around 39% of the total imports by India and includes fertilisers, cereals, edible oils and newsprint. India is a leading software producing country and generates large amounts of foreign exchange through the export of information technology.
Tourism is an important form of international trade. The Indian tourism industry employs around 15 million people to take care of around 2.6 million foreign tourists who visit India every year. Foreign tourists visit India for heritage tourism, eco-tourism, adventure tourism, cultural tourism, medical tourism and business tourism.
Tourism not only promotes national integration, it also gives tremendous boost to local handicraft industries and helps foreign tourists to understand and appreciate our cultural heritage.