The History of Trade and Commerce (Explained)


The history of trade and commerce in India dates back to ancient times when the Indus Valley Civilization had vast trade networks. During the Vedic period, the country known to export spices, textiles, and jewelry to other parts of the world.

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In the medieval period, India was the leading exporter of textiles and spices, with its ports bustling with ships from all parts of the world. The Mughal Empire also saw an influx of Persian and Central Asian traders, who brought with them many new products and technologies. The colonial period saw a great increase in the scope of trade and commerce in India. The British East India Company dominated the Indian market and introduced new products from the West. This period also saw the growth of modern banking and financial institutions in the country.

After independence, India adopted a mixed economy and opened itself up to foreign investment and trade. The country liberalized its economy in the 1990s, which led to a surge in foreign investment and trade.

Today, India is one of the world’s leading economies, and its trade and commerce sector is growing rapidly. It is the world’s largest exporter of IT services, textiles, jewelry, and drugs.


History of Trade and Commerce in India. Any country’s economic and commercial development is influence by its natural surroundings. This is particularly true for India, which has the Himalayas in the north and water in the south. A network of highways connecting to the Silk Route helped in the establishment of economic and political links with neighboring Asian and global kingdoms and states.

What is the History of Trade and Commerce definepedia

The “spice route” was a maritime route that connected east and west by sea and was use for the spice trade. The advancement of riches along these channels expanded the number of major nations. important trading centers, and the manufacturing belt. which, in turn, helped the advancement of national and international economies.

Trade and commerce in India played a significant role in establishing India as a major economic old time. Archaeological evidence has demonstrated that trade and commerce were the backbones of old India’s economy.

In the third millennium B.C., commercial centers such as Harappa and Mohenjodaro were built. The society set commercial ties with Mesopotamia, trading in gold, silver, copper, and colored gemstones.

Elements  helped India to rise

Some of the elements that helped India’s rise to the top of the trade and commerce rankings are as follows:

  1. The Hindu merchant society was note for its enterprise, tenacity, and dependability.
  2. Indian goods were noted for their perfection since the things made in India were unique and not accessible in any other region of the world.
  3. The Hindus were extremely competent at shipbuilding and had a thorough understanding of maritime routes, winds, and other aspects of navigation. This allowed people to travel to faraway regions to do commerce.

Large economic operations and planned development characterized the period. During ancient times, political economics and defense unified most of the Indian subcontinent. And commercial settlements were planned. There were several currency kinds and weighing scales.

Indigenous Banking System

  • Metals started to use as money as people’s economic lives advanced because they are durable and divisible.
  • This boosted economic activity.
  • Documents like Hundi and Chitti were using to conduct transactions in which money was transmitte from hand to hand.
  • Hundi included a contract that — guarantees the payment of money, the promise or order that is unconditional. (ii) is a possible modification by transfer through proper negotiation.

  • As banking evolved, people began to deposit precious metals with lending persons known as bankers or Seths.
  • Money evolved as a tool for providing producers with a way of manufacturing more items.

  • Agriculture and animal domestication were important aspects of ancient people’s economic lives.

    The rise of intermediaries

    • Intermediaries offered important financial security to producers by accepting responsibility for the risks involved in international trade.

    • Later, commercial and industrial banks formed to fund trade and commerce, while agricultural banks evolved to give both short- and long-term loans to agriculturists.

    • The institution of Jagat Seths emerged and held significant power throughout the Mughal Empire and the days of the East India Company.

      Important Exports and Imports


      Spices, wheat, sugar, indigo, sesame oil, cotton, parrot, live animals, and animal products such as hides, skins, furs, and horns. tortoise shells, pearls, diamonds, crystal shards, rocks, turquoise, and copper, among other things.


      Horses, animal goods, Chinese silk, flax and linen, wine, gold, silver, tin, copper, lead, rubies, coral, glass, amber, and other precious metals.

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