China is set to fall behind India in terms of its reliance on exports this year for the first time since it opened up to the world in 1979. The shift highlights the growth in the domestic economy, which could make Beijing better able to withstand trade tensions under President Donald Trump, who has threatened to hit the country with punitive tariffs. China exported $1.65tn of goods and services in the first three quarters of 2016, a 7.2% fall from the same period a year before. During the same period the country’s ratio of exports to gross domestic product fell to just 20.2%, compared with a 2006 peak of 38.6%, according to Financial Times calculations. Its export intensity is now a fraction above that of India, which had a comparable figure of 19.4% in the first nine months of 2016.
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