India Emerges as Fourth-Largest Exporter of Digital Services, WTO Report Reveals

Feature and Cover India Emerges as Fourth Largest Exporter of Digital Services WTO Report Reveals

India has solidified its position as the globe’s fourth-largest provider of digitally transmitted services, contributing more than a fifth to the global service trade. According to the latest findings from the World Trade Organisation (WTO), India’s exports of digitally transmitted services hit $257 billion in 2023, reflecting a 17% surge from the preceding year. This growth surpassed that of Germany and China, each experiencing a 4% uptick. The report underscores that worldwide, exports of digitally transmitted services soared to $4.25 trillion in 2023, marking a 9% year-over-year escalation. This accounted for 13.8% of global exports of goods and services. Despite a decline in global goods trade across all regions, exports of digitally transmitted services continued to thrive. Europe and Asia, together commanding a 76.2% global share, saw export escalations of 11% and 9%, respectively.

In 2023, business, professional, and technical services led the global exports of digitally transmitted services at 41.2%, trailed by computer services (20.5%), financial services (16%), intellectual property related services (10.9%), insurance and pension services (5.2%), telecommunications services (2.6%), audio-visual and other personal, cultural, and recreational services (2.1%), and information services (1.5%).

The report also noted a surge in the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, including AI models proficient in producing various forms of content such as text, images, music, and videos. This swift adoption is poised to transform several facets of the economy, fostering enhanced efficiency, innovation, cost savings, personalization opportunities, job generation, and economic expansion, thereby further propelling trade in digitally transmitted services.

Looking forward, the WTO foresees enhancements in the global economy and trade. Following a 1.2% contraction in goods trade volume, the organization predicts a 2.6% upturn in 2024. In terms of value, world goods trade dropped to $24 trillion in 2023, while commercial services swelled to $7.5 trillion, registering a 5% decline and 9% growth, respectively.

Digitally deliverable services encompass a broad spectrum of services that can be conveyed via information and communications technology (ICT) networks. These encompass ICT services, sales and marketing services, financial services, professional services, education and training services, among others.

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