November 10, 2021 1:26:39 am
Commerce minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday India will realise by 2030 a lofty services export target of $1 trillion, nearly five times of what it exported last fiscal.
For this to materialise, he said, the world’s seventh-largest services exporter needs to boost opportunities in high-growth segments beyond the dominant information technology and IT-enabled services (ITeS), and improve focus on promising areas like higher education, hospitality and medical tourism.
To support the services sector, the government has been actively pursuing market access opportunities via free-trade agreements with key economies (including the UK, the EU, Australia and the UAE) and is working on a programme that could replace the Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) in its current form, he added.
Sectors like tourism and hospitality, which were battered by the pandemic, are showing signs of revival, Goyal added. The commerce ministry has also set an ambitious merchandise export target of $1 trillion by FY28, against $291 billion last fiscal.
Surplus in services trade has long narrowed the often-huge deficit in India’s merchandise shipments. With renewed focus and targeted government intervention, services trade surplus could rise further from as much as $89 billion in FY21 and almost wipe out the deficit caused by merchandise exports, senior industry executives say. The services sector has also been the largest recipient of foreign direct investment, making up for 53% of the total inflows between 2000 and 2021.
The optimism about meeting the targets comes at a time when advanced economies are witnessing a resurgence, spurring demand for both goods and services.
At the same time, Goyal exhorted the services industry to shun the crutches of government subsidy, saying past experiences show absence of dole-outs encourages firms to raise competitiveness. Also, the subsidy amount can be utilised for those who need it more.
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