India’s services exports in the financial year 2021-22 touched an all-time high of $250 billion despite the travel & tourism, aviation and hospitality sectors being severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said.

“After the historic achievement of $420 billion goods exports (in 2021-22), India achieves yet another feather in its cap by accomplishing services exports worth almost $250 billion for 2021-22. This shows the commitment of the government led by PM Narendra Modi for `LocalGoesGlobal’, Goyal stated in a tweet on Wednesday.

For fixing the export target for 2022-23, consultations are on with export promotion councils and Indian missions around the globe. The Prime Minister will take inputs from all and then a feasible target will be worked out, the Minister said.

The previous high for services exports was in 2019-20 at $213 billion, Goyal pointed out. In 2020-21, services exports had plummeted to $195 billion because of Covid-19 restrictions.

“With the travel and tourism, aviation and hospitality sectors being severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, reaching $250 billion in services exports is a big achievement,” Goyal said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Moving from low-cost services

India is now moving from low-cost services such as call centres and BPOs to services up the value chain such as AI, block chain, data analytics and Internet of Things, he added.

Goyal said that India’s Free Trade Agreements with UAE and Australia and the ones being negotiated with the EU and the UK will more than make up for whatever losses may be suffered due to adverse situations such as the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

He said that a delegation from the European Parliament was in New Delhi to discuss the FTA being negotiated between the two sides and the talks were progressing well. In response to questions of the EU’s insistence on inclusion of areas such as labour, environment and sustainable development in its free trade pacts, Goyal said that India had on its own taken responsible commitments in the area of climate and practiced world class labour laws. He added that India had nothing to be apprehensive about while dealing in these areas.

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