Opening up of the domestic legal services sector will benefit Indian lawyers as they would get huge opportunities in countries like Europe, Australia and America, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday.
He said there is a need to get Indian lawyers on board on this issue. “I personally believe that opening up legal services in India will actually be a net gain for lawyers of India because no lawyer is going to come from America or Europe and practise at Indian rates. “But, Indian lawyers will get huge opportunities in Europe and Australia, in America, in all of the world actually, with the kind of skills that our lawyers have,” he said at SEPC’s Global Services Conclave 2021.
Earlier, there were formal talks to open certain domestic legal services to foreigners but it was not moved forward because of certain reservations expressed by certain stakeholders. Goyal also said India is poised to achieve a services export target of USD 1 trillion by 2030. The sector provides employment to nearly 2.6 crore people and contributes about 40 per cent to India’s total global exports. India is the seventh largest services exporter in the world.
“Sectors like tourism and hospitality, which suffered due to COVID-19, are showing revival signs,” he said assuring the industry that the government was actively pursuing market access opportunities and working on a scheme alternative to SEIS (Services Exports from India Scheme). He added that currently, services export largely comprises IT/ITes and stressed that “we need to focus on other potential growth sectors”.
He also outlined possible new initiatives to boost the tourism sector such as development of new innovative bundle tour packages and said the hospitality industry has a big potential and many developed countries can take a lesson or two from India. On demands of industry players for extending incentives, the minister said “small nuggets” will not help and the sector should become more competitive and provide quality products to the world to boost exports.
Speaking at the event, Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) Chairman Maneck Davar said that in line with the PLI (production-linked incentive) scheme, the government should consider something for the services sector as well. “There is a huge opportunity to boost exports. This fiscal, the exports may touch USD 240 billion,” Davar said. Darpan Jain, joint secretary in the ministry, said huge opportunties exist in sectors such as tourism, higher education and healthcare.
He suggested the industry to focus on areas like online delivery of services, reaching out to bodies of professional services abroad for mutual recognition agreements, proper feedback for free-trade pacts, and a dynamic business-to-business portal.