As stated on this site, India is unique in that it has easy sea trading routes to every continent, and is therefore a major trading center. When did India become one— during British occupation, after independence, or during some other period?

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    There is evidence that indicates that Indus Valley Civilization had an active trade going on with Mesopotamia, FWIW. Now, is having sea trading routes to every continent the only criterion for a country to be a major trading center?
    – taninamdar
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 3:05
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    @taninamdar: Rome also had active trade with India. There are maps showing trade routes as far as Sri Lanka. And of course Alexander tried to conquer it.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 5:21
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    What's the definition of "major trading center"? I'd also doubt that India has always had "easy sea trading routes to every continent" or that it is "unique" in this respect.
    – Steve Bird
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 6:54
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    I do not think you can qualify India as a "trading center". India is BIG. A center is, almost by definition, concentrated. Some cities or areas in the coast or where land rutes passed by could have become trading hubs, but that is not "India".
    – SJuan76
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 9:56
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    And, to support @SteveBird comment, any geographical advantage India has is far from "unique". In relationship with the seas, Sri Lanka is geographically located almost exactly, and the Malacca Straits are a way more natural "trading center".
    – SJuan76
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 9:58

1 Answer 1


India is far from unique in being a major trade center. The author is being very liberal in their definition of "unique".

But India's status as a major trade center is very ancient. As far back as the Bronze Age, there was brisk trade between the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia, sometimes via sea. There are documents from 1st century CE describing India as a major trade destination, linked to Egypt, Rome and China. Ancient trade routes with India included the Silk Road and the Incense Route. When the spice trade became prominent, Columbus tried going West and thought he reached India. India was colonised by many European powers, due to its favourable position for trade.

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