Indian exports are expected to register healthy growth in the coming months and are likely to touch $350 billion by end of the current financial year, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said.
Speaking at the second Services Excellence Awards organized by industry body Assocham, the minister also said that the Centre is aggressively pushing for allowing professionals to travel for service delivery as that would open a very big market for India.
“How can we have service delivery without a professional being there, you can transport a good or merchandise without the person being there but we cannot render a service unless the person is present there, so we are pushing that globally,” said Prabhu while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM Services Excellence Summit.
“If lawyers, doctors, technicians, chartered accountants, architects, and others will be able to go and render services, there will be a big market,” he added.
Prabhu, however, said that it is very critical for India to improve standards for making professionals pass out the examination to be able to deliver quality service. “So even education which provides this professional qualification has to be proper.“
He further said that creating top-class professionals was imperative as the government will not succeed merely by providing access to markets by making agreements. “So I think we should try to work on that.“
The Union Minister also informed that from now on free trade agreements (FTAs) or any type of agreements that government signs would not remain confined to goods but also include services as that would open a huge vista for India.
He also suggested self-regulation is the best way for the industry to set standards for itself to improve service delivery to global players. “Like for ASSOCHAM, if a particular company in an industry is not complying with specified standards, it will not be our member, that is the only way you can specify standards.“
Prabhu also informed that his Ministry has already prepared a plan to boost India’s economic growth whereby when country’s economy would be worth $10 trillion in another 15-16 years from now, services sector would account for at least $6 trillion plus.
He added that for this, the Union Cabinet has already approved INR 5,000 crore to be invested in development of 12 champion sectors of services. “We have already identified the states from where the services will come, which are those services which will have a value of up scaling so that they can be used globally and therefore we are already working on implementation of this plan.“
The Minister also informed that many of these sectors have prepared their comprehensive action plans and the Government is thuse working with both the industry and the states.
He said that at a time when merchandise exports are facing their biggest ever challenge globally because of various factors influencing the global trade, Indian exports are rising owing to a proper strategy. “This is what I have been working on for last six-seven months that which country will export, what product will export and that all depends upon market research and for that now implementation of study has already happened.“
He informed that while his Ministry held first meeting with East-African countries in Uganda about four months back, another one in Southern Africa, it was now meeting West and North Africa.
“In addition, with Latin America we have already done that with 20 countries and now we are going to central Asia to promote exports there.“
Mr Prabhu said that in last few months itself he had met and interacted with at least 150 countries’ ministers and delegations and to promote exports which is now delivering concrete results.
“At a time when world exports including Japan is facing serious challenge as their exports are declining, China and every country is facing problem but in that context India’s exports are showing good results but we would like to make sure that we will also do more as services will be the major driver of the global economy.“
He also said that the Commerce and Industry Ministry is aggressively working in to set standards for all products and services that are made and delivered.
“If you do not have quality, nobody is going to accept your services. Quality is going to be important because without that we will not be able to provide those services neither in India nor globally and therefore service quality is going to be extremely important and industry must focus on that,” said Prabhu.