Commerce flourished under the Cholas. Trade was carried on with West Asia and China and South-east Asia. Trade with China reached unprecedented volume during these centuries. Foreign trade provided an additional incentive to an already developing local market.
Controlled by merchant guilds the high volume of trade led to the rapid growth of towns from the 11th century onwards. There was also a marked increase in the number of Chola coins that were minted as compared to those of earlier dynasties in this region.