Both services and merchandise exports have recovered by a large margin after the Covid-19 pandemic and the country may end FY21 with a 10 percent fall in both categories, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on March 23.
Speaking at the India Services Conclave 2021 organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Goyal said the statistics show the steady pace of industrial recovery given the ramifications of the pandemic even now across the world.
This would also serve to show the world that India is a trusted partner ready to face adverse challenges and turn them into opportunities, he added.
"Other than tourism and hospitality, two services sector in which the entire world took a hit and so did India with international travel, vacationing and business travel down, we will probably close the year with 90 percent of our services exports worldwide, vis-a-vis what we did in the previous year," Goyal said.
In the previous financial year of 2019-20, India’s services exports rose just over 4 percent to $214 billion. In the first 11 months of the current 2020-21, services exports are pegged at $ 183.4 Billion, according to estimates by the Reserve Bank of India.
"As soon as the lockdown was implemented a year ago, we quickly realigned our business practices in India so much so that in the services sector, not for a single day did India let down any of our international clients," Goyal said.
Similarly, for merchandise exports, a shortfall of 8-10 percent in trade receipts is expected, he added.
In FY20, India's merchandise exports stood at $ 314.3 billion, after suffering a fall of 4.7 per cent. In the current financial year, merchandise exports have totaled $ 256.2 billion in the April-February period.
"If India has to continue its growth, something I believe in, it has to then put much more resources into R&D and also make sure that Artificial Intelligence and 5G technologies is something that is promoted", Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum, said at the same event. Studies show in the early days of the pandemic, the world leapt 5-years in terms of digital uptake over the course of just 2-months, he added.
Artificial Intelligence is projected to increase global GDP by about 15 percent in this decade while 5G is expected to generate $13 trillion in global economic value and generate 22 million jobs by 2035, Brende stressed.