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India rides the digital wave to 7th spot in services trade

Pent-up demand following Covid sparks rebound in travel with a 206% jump in Jan-Mar this year

India rides the digital wave to 7th spot in services trade
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

India jumped three slots to the seventh position in a ranking of services traders in 2022 following a 32% surge in exports, primarily of computer services, data from the latest World Trade Statistical Review report showed.

Computer services were the most dynamic sector in services trade, with global exports in 2022 being worth 44% more than their value in 2019, World Trade Organization (WTO) director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said in the report.

“Digitally delivered services, including streaming games and remote consulting services, are an emerging source of growth, accounting for 54% of global services exports in 2022, and 12% of total global trade in goods and services,” Okonjo-Iweala said.

Travel in India also got a significant boost from pent-up demand following Covid with a 206% year-on-year jump in the January-to-March period, the report said.

Data for other major services-exporting economies, including the US, the UK, China, Germany, and France, showed continued growth in travel in the first half of 2023.

In other sectors, India remained among the top 10 exporters of food, iron and steel, chemical, textiles, clothing, transport and commercial services, data showed.

China, meanwhile, retained its position as the world’s top merchandise exporter in 2022 as trade with neighboring Russia soared amid Western sanctions on that country, the report said. But China’s share in global exports declined to 14% from 15% in the previous year, it added.

The US, with 8% of world trade, and Germany with 7% were ranked second and third, according to WTO- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimates.

On the global stage, trade in goods and services totaled $31 trillion in 2022, a 13% year-on-year jump. Trade in goods had exceeded pre-pandemic levels in 2021, but trade in services caught up only in 2022.

Services trade fared better than merchandise trade, growing 15% in 2022.

In volume terms, merchandise trade rose by 2.7%, well below the 12.4% growth in value terms, pointing to the impact of high global commodity prices on trade.

In manufacturing, China saw a 30% jump in the value of its automotive exports in January-to-March, propelled by its strong hold in the production of lithium-ion batteries, to become the world’s second-biggest exporter of electric motor vehicles after the European Union.


Javaid Naikoo is a senior correspondent at Press Insider. A seasoned and analytical journalist, Javaid covers economy and policy from New Delhi. He has reported on politics, business and social issues in the past, and also has a keen interest in photojournalism. His compelling words and art have appeared across domestic and global publications. More

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