The services sector has been the primary driver of growth of the Indian economy and has become fundamental to the nation achieving the US$ 5 trillion target that it has set for itself. The sector has come into its own over the last decade and plays a pivotal role in providing highly skilled and productive job opportunities. With the global economic slowdown weakening demand, there are certain challenges that need to be addressed. GES 2019 provides the necessary and appropriate platform for the convergence of ideas to reverse this slowdown and place India on track to achieve its targets.
Mr Kris Gopalakrishnan, Past President, CII and Chairman CII Start-up council and Co-Founder Infosys & Chairman Axilor Ventures stated the impact and the role that GES India has played in enhancing the services sector by creating positive conversations around the sector. He spoke on how technology has allowed Bangalore and the nation to transform, and the significant role it has played as a service enabler. This has propelled the sector to be the fundamental driver of the economy. He emphasized the diversity of data that is prevalent in the economy and the need for measures to be undertaken to leverage this advantage.
Mrs Xiaolin Chai, Director – Trade in Services and Investment Division, WTO spoke on how the future of trade and services will be shaped by four factors: Digitisation, Demographic changes, rising income and the impact of climate change. She stated that the efficiency of services is the key differentiator and how a 1% improvement in logistics has the potential to lead to a 3% growth in exports. This along with the need for a more transparent environment can truly help in fulfilling the potential of trade in services. She addressed the Indian perspective by acknowledging the great potential that exists due to the quality of human resources, visionary government support, business enthusiasm, innovative entrepreneurship and rich academic inputs.
John Drummond, Head of Division, Trade in Services, OECD in his address shared a macroeconomic perspective. He stated that there have been two major shifts that this sector has witnessed. There has been a change in the nature of services and there has been a shift from mass consumption to mass customization. The 21st century saw that more customization leads to more competition and this has become the centre of services trade. In addition, SMEs are the first to gain from removing barriers to cross-border services. There are two strategies that were proposed to boost international trade: create a services trade framework and a digital market openness framework.
Rajesh Kumar I Modi, Hon’ble Deputy Minister, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Zimbabwe stated the great potential that exists in Zimbabwe to increase trade in services in education and health by Indian firms. He spoke on how Indian financial firms can also help to contribute to Zimbabwe. The two areas he believes can be promising for India in Zimbabwe is in healthcare especially in pharma which will help provide better medical services and boost local employment. The second area is the need for technological transfer in agriculture.
Mr Sudhanshu Vats, Chairman, CII National Committee on Media and Entertainment & Group CEO, Viacom 18 Media Pvt Ltd expressed the opportunity that exists within the Media and Entertainment industry. He spoke on the opportunity that exists and the need for measures to be undertaken to exponentially grow this sector to contribute at least 3% of the nation's GDP. He stated the three areas that need to be addressed to help boost this sector, namely: Single Window Clearance, the need for physical infrastructure and the need for skilling.
Mr Nandakumar Jairam, Chairman and Group Medical Director, Columbia spoke on the Indian healthcare system. He stated how far the private sector has come since the 80s and how it currently provides over 70% of the healthcare services in the industry. He spoke on India’s competitive advantage in its infrastructure and manpower and the cost of healthcare which often for surgeries is 10% of what it is in the United States. Moving forward there is a need to develop non-medical infrastructure to boost medical value tourism and attract foreigners. He also emphasised the impact that Ayushman Bharat has had on our nation.
Mr Sanjay Gulati, Member – Governing Council, SEPC & Group Head – Corporate Tax, GST & Litigation, GMR Group stated the impact that legal and accounting services have had on our nation and the potential it possesses. The government of India is looking at undertaking measures that will allow foreign law firms to provide services in India while looking at the contribution of Indian legal services outside. This area has grown against the backdrop of growth in AI, blockchain and digitisation.
Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, Department of Commerce & Industries, Government of Karnataka highlighted the bottlenecks that currently exists within exports such as issues with regulation and how networking needs to be worked on. He stated that the Government of Karnataka is committed to undertaking various measures to improve the ease of doing business and allowing for a single-window clearance.
26 November 2019