Services and services trade play a central role to economic development in the modern era. From core infrastructural services such as finance, telecoms, transportation and energy, to modern business and professional services, from employment-driving distribution and tourism services, to sensitive health, education and environmental services – the service sector is inextricably linked to any efforts to enhance growth, promote development and reduce poverty. In advanced economies, services are the most important sector in terms of output and employment. In developing country economies, while the service sector continues to grow in importance, services still generally account for a relatively small proportion of GDP and employment.
In recent years, developing and least developed countries have increasingly recognised the importance of developing their services sectors and are therefore engaged in services trade negotiations at many levels including at the WTO, bilaterally or part of region al integration efforts.However, the technical capacity required to negotiate and liberalize trade in services is considerably higher than goods trade and the political implications are more complex, which has led to the status quo as efforts to negotiate services trade agreements have often faltered.
With support from the UK Trade Advocacy Fund (TAF), ILEAP, CUTS International Geneva and Sussex University are joining hands to undertake a series of activities that seek to contribute to the increased and more effective participation of LDCs, LICs, LMICs and RECs in multilateral, regional and bilateral services trade negotiations.
This initiative will enhance understanding among policy makers, regulators and negotiators about their services sectors and the role that trade negotiations can play in pursuing their strategic interests therein. As a result, they would be better able to articulate and pursue these interest in various negotiating fora.
Case Studies & Papers
Analysis of real cases on a wide range of services trade promotion aspects. Coverage will include trade policy dimension, effective institutional mechanisms, negotiations, role of private sector, role of civil society in promoting public interest, regulatory reforms in selected sectors, interface with competition policy etc.
Toolkits on Good Practices
Practical guidance for service statistics collection, using available statistics for decision-oriented analysis, improving institutional effectiveness. Methodologies to better identify binding constraints on service exports, and for assessing export opportunities and challenges in existing strategic export value chains.
Webinar & Trainings
A Webinar for selected statistical officers to learn data collection and analysis tools. Two regional training workshops for negotiators, regulators and policy-makers to learn methodologies for improving institutional effectiveness, possible interventions to enhance competitiveness in services trade etc.
Outreach in Geneva
Meetings around important trade in services-related events in Geneva to widen outreach to all TAF-eligible countries.
An information hub on services trade promotion, and a forum for discussion and experience-sharing among practitioners.
Negotiators, regulators, statistics officers and policy makers in TAF-eligible countries will be better able to collect and use services trade statistics in policy making and negotiations, as well as effectively promote competiveness in their services trade.
August 2014 - June 2015
Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Low-Income Countries (LICs), Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs), Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
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