Institutional Framework for Collection of Statistics on Trade in Services: Four Pilot Surveys on Trade in Audiovisual, Logistics, Professional and Telecommunication Services

The services sector accounts for a significant proportion of the global gross domestic product (GDP), trade and investment. In India, the sector is the largest contributor to GDP and GDP growth. The share of services in India’s trade is increasing and the country has a positive trade balance in services. India is among the top 10 World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries in exports and imports of services. This sector accounts for the maximum foreign investment inflows into the country. In spite of the substantial contribution of the services sector to the Indian economy, employment, trade and investment, India does not have a robust system for collection and reporting of data on trade in services.An efficient, transparent and predictable framework for collection of statistics on trade in services is required to understand trade flows between India and its trading partners. Ideally, the data should be collected by different sub-sectors of services to understand the country’s strength in services exports. A robust database will also help the Department of Commerce (DoC) to negotiate trade agreements, which include