Trade facilitation pact in services at WTO to push global economy: Prabhu

MUMBAI, May 15:
Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu today pitched for inclusion of the trade facilitation pact on services in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) saying it would help promote growth of the global economy.
“We are working on trade facilitation in services sector at WTO. We feel WTO will not be doing full justice to the economic development of the world unless services sectors are taken on board, so we are trying to work on that,” he said.
He was speaking at the inauguration of Global Exhibition on Services, organised by the commerce ministry and industry body CII.
He said that the proposed agreement would help professionals move smoothly from one place to another.
On the lines of the trade facilitation pact in goods, India has submitted a detailed proposal to the WTO to negotiate a trade facilitation agreement in services (TFS).
The TFS proposal aims at liberalising rules for movement of professionals and other steps to reduce transaction costs with a view to boost growth of the services sector.
It will focus on issues like liberalised visa regime, long-term visas for business community and freer movement of professionals for the greater benefit of both India and the world, among others.
India is pitching for this pact as the sector contributes over 60 per cent to the GDP and 28 per cent to total employment.
Prabhu also said that the commerce ministry is working on state-wise plan to promote the services sector.
He said the country’s economy would reach USD 5 trillion in the coming years and out of this services segment would contribute about USD 3 trillion.
Speaking at the event, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the services sector will help in leapfrogging economic growth of the country.
He also called upon the importance of creating proper infrastructure for promoting the growth of the sector as it has the potential to create more jobs.
“If India has to grow to USD 5 trillion economy by 2025, Maharashtra has to grow to a USD 1 trillion economy by 2025 and I think our strategy towards making Maharashtra first trillion dollar economy has already been rolled out,” he said.
He said that this is achievable by giving special focus on services sector. (PTI)