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Anand Sharma Inaugurates Services Conclave

New Delhi, November 12: The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma inaugurated Services Conclave 2013 here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Sharma highlighted that services trade is an essential ingredient to economic growth, sustainable development and contributes prominently to employment generation. “India’ services sector contributes to around 60 per cent of our GDP, 35 per cent of employment, a quarter of our total trade and more than half of our foreign investment inflows.” But, “in a global market of US$ 4 trillion of services exports, India’s share is still low. It’s USD 227 billion.”

 At the same time, Sharma felt that there is a need to seriously look at how to have a services sector growth which is connected with India’s economic philosophy of inclusion and sustainable development.

Adding on Sharma said “If you have a Joint Task Force between the Government and the Industry, the same the government accepts, and the Task Force will be constituted and we ask both the Commerce Secretary and Rajeev Kher to take this forward along with the CII.”

Further, Sharma proposed the need to have a Services Competitiveness Council, on the lines of National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council. “On the services side, whatever we call it, we accept this proposal which has been made by the industry. I think it is doable,” said  Sharma. He further added that “there is a need to look at each vertical of the services sector and focus on that, in a manner that we are able to address the challenges that exist.”

Putting emphasis on the fact that 80 per cent of India’s total exports are dominated by the high skilled services including software business services, financial services and communication services, Sharma said “The growth in the service industry verticals has significantly enhanced the number of well paid jobs and have enabled a reallocation of labour to high productivity sectors.” Moreover, Shri Sharma emphasized that while exports from IT&ITES last year stood at Rs. 1.40 lakh crores, registering a growth of over 70 per cent over the previous year, the success witnessed in the IT sector has not been accompanied by concomitant growth in other services industry verticals. Hence, the Minister said “There is a need to adopt a holistic approach to the entire services sector. The challenge is not just to increase the size of the services sector but also to diversify the services basket.”

Sharma also felt the need to dwell upon building a robust regulatory framework in the services sector. “Multiple Ministries and Departments regulate the services sector but few sectors such as construction and retail do not have nodal ministries. Thus there is a need also to map various stakeholders and draw a cohesive roadmap for each of the services sector,” said Sharma.

Speaking on the occasion, Commerce Secretary S R Rao said that the Services Conclave 2013 is focusing on few select sectors that have the potential for India’s service sector export strategy. “Professional services have been India’s strength. India is known to export skill and knowledge based services. In particular, financial services, accountancy, architectural and management consultancy services are being focused… Logistics services is another highly complex and potential sector that requires our attention in the context of services exports. Technology plays an important role in services trade today,” added Rao.

The Services Conclave 2013 will deliberate on a road map for augmenting exports of various services so as not only to diversify India’s services exports but also to position India as a key player in world services trade. The primary aim of the Conclave, organized by the Department of Commerce in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with support from the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) and Centre for WTO Studies (CWTOS) will be to address issues relating to the challenges and opportunities of Services sector exports for India especially in the specific sectors of logistics, professional services (Architectural services, accountancy, management consultancy services), IT/ITeS, telecom services, tourism, health and medical services and creativity and entertainment services. 

Posted by Imphal Dispatch on 21:29. Filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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