Sitharaman emphasises the need for efficient and fair flow of services.

In February, India has initiated floating a draft Legal Text for a pact on TFS at WTO.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday outlined the significance of facilitating the trade in services on the lines of trade in goods.

“Access to market is not facilitation but it is an issue,” she said while inaugurating the Workshop facilitating trade in services organised by the World Bank Group in association with the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi on Thursday.

The Minister also emphasised on the need for a fair and efficient flow of services in order to promote foreign trade in services.

“Knowledge has become a factor of production and it is important to know how to handle it,” Sitharaman said.

In February, India, with a view to facilitate and promote foreign trade in services, has initiated floating a draft of Legal Text for a pact on Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS) at World Trade Organisation (WTO) that suggested a way forward on addressing comprehensively the several barriers related to border and behind-the-border, across all supply modes, which are observed as hurdles by the industry in realising the full potential of trade in services.

Before this legal text, India puts a 'Concept Note for an Initiative on TFS’ in October last year.

In November 2016, India tabled an ‘Elements Paper’ that proposes the likely elements of TFS Agreement.

The proposals made by India have created a lot of interest, within as well as outside the WTO. Several members have appreciated the innovative idea and approach in bringing such proposal by India.

However, a few members have raised doubts on some specific issues. But India is looking forward to engaging in constructive talks with all the stakeholders in taking forward this initiative.