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India has doubled its share of global commercial services exports to 4.4% in 2022 from 2% in 2005, according to a World Bank and World Trade Organization (WTO) report.
“China and India doubled their share of global commercial services exports from 2005 to 2022, from 3.0% to 5.4%, and from 2.0% to 4.4%, respectively,” it said.
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The report titled ‘Trade in services for development’ also said that in India, South Africa and Türkiye, jobs directly linked to cross-border services exports account for more than 10% of total services sector jobs.
“The developing economies’ impressive trade performance under this expanded measure of trade in services is largely due to four economies that rank as leading services exporters and importers– China; Hong Kong; Singapore; India,” the report said.
It added that India and the Philippines will need to upskill and reskill their workforces and invest in the development of their domestic services sectors — particularly in terms of R&D to keep pace with rapidly changing technology and still remain competitive and progress up the value chain.
“India has become a popular destination for medical travel, and hosted around 3.5 million foreign patients from 2009 to 2019,” the report said.
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Foreign patients from developed countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as from developing countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, go to India in search of less costly, high-quality treatment, according to the report.
Noting that services value-added accounted for over 51% of India’s total exports in 2018, the two organisations said that India’s experience highlights how reforms to facilitate foreign direct investment (FDI) in services can “ignite positive growth dynamics by boosting participation in foreign manufacturing value chains”.
“Fuelled by advances in information and communications technologies (ICT), global commercial services exports almost tripled between 2005 and 2022, a period that saw marked changes in the composition of services trade, with exports of digitally delivered services increasing almost four-fold,” they said.