India submits proposal on trade pact in services to WTO:

Source: The Economic Times, Feb 23, 2017

NEW DELHI: India has submitted a proposal at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to start discussions on trade facilitation agreement in services.

The proposal aims at liberalising rules for movement of professionals and other steps to reduce transaction costs to boost growth of the services sector.”Today we have submitted the legally vetted paper in Geneva,” Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here.

She said that the special committee of the global trade body WTO will discuss the proposal in March.India is pitching for this trade facilitation agreement in services as the sector contributes over 60 per cent to the GDP and 28 per cent to total employment.

The move is aimed at developing a broader framework governing global services trade, just like a TFA on goods.A TFA in services would focus on issues like liberalised visa regime, long-term visas for business community and freer movement of professionals for the greater benefit of both India and the world, among others.

The WTO’s trade facilitation agreement on goods has come into effect from yesterday with its two-thirds members ratifying the pact.

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