Trade in services negotiations, including the so-called mega-regionals, play a crucial role in framing available policy options to leverage services for development. However, LDCs and smaller developing countries are often not the participants, or unable to shape the outcomes. For them, the worst scenario would be to be left out of the opening of services markets among developed and a few developing countries. This paper is an attempt to understand the possible way forward for these countries, exploring prospects both within and outside the WTO.
Drawing lessons from existing provisions on temporary movement of persons in selected African Regional Economic Communities (RECs), this study proposes ways forward on the matter for the current CFTA negotiations. Throughout Africa, interest in leveraging and disciplining trade in services is growing, and movement of persons should be looked at with special interest. It can not only play a key role in the supply and consumption of services across African borders, but also unleash trade in goods and regional value chains.
Despite the availability of new data from the World Bank, the coverage of services trade data, both aggregate and at the sector level, remains a challenge for Low-income (LICs) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) whose policy-makers and trade negotiators remain in the dark. As part of a series of trainings developed for central banks, national statistical institutes (NSIs), policy-makers, regulators and trade negotiators in these countries, this toolkit provides practical guidance for them to better collect, compile and use data on services trade. Designed based on good practices tested in similar countries, the strategy proposed here follows a sequenced process from adopting enabling legislative provisions and institutional frameworks, to securing external technical assistance and diversifying data sources.
Measuring and ensuring availability of data on services trade flows have been a long-standing challenge for meaningful economic analyses and informing trade negotiators. Despite improvements in its international availability, services trade data remains largely unavailable for bilateral trade and more disaggregated sectors, especially in the case of South-South trading partners. This has obvious adverse implications for the ability of many Low-income (LICs) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to meaningfully negotiate services. Nevertheless, some have performed better than others at collecting, compiling and reporting on services trade data.
The Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme provides for eligible Pacific Islanders to work for the agricultural season in New Zealand. Using the lens of the three ‘I’s model of political economy – Interests, Ideas and Institutions, this Briefing Paper (and the original research paper on which is based) discusses not the outcome of the RSE scheme, but its origins and replicability and especially the role of institutions in its success.
With the emergence of global value chains (GVCs), many firms now spread their production processes across different actors and regions worldwide in search for greater efficiencies. This can offer significant opportunities for developing countries, if they are able to properly analyse GVCs. With a focus on the leisure tourism global value chains (GVC) in Kenya, this briefing paper highlights the broad structure of GVC analysis with a lens on the distribution intermediaries and first tier service providers engaged in the chain. It concludes with some considerations on strengthening the tourism GVC in Kenya.
After Vietnam began liberalizing its planned economy 30 years ago to become a “socialist-oriented market economy”, monopolies have been dismantled including in the telecommunications sector which is so key for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to thrive. This paper reviews how the telecom sector has been liberalized and reformed in Vietnam, and recommends ways forward to improve capacity for regulatory independence and evening the playing field for market players and consumers. While the reform road remains paved with challenges, significant improvements have been noted. Today, prices have significantly dropped, consumers enjoy wider choices, and private and foreign service providers find it easier to enter the industry.
November 18, 2015
Services and services trade can play a central role in supporting inclusive economic growth, and have become an increasingly visible feature of trade discussions domestically, regionally, as well as at the bilateral and multilateral levels. This four-day regional training workshop on “Enhancing Capacities for Trade in Services Policymaking and Negotiations” created awareness among South Asian negotiators, policy-makers and non-state actors to better understand how to collect and use services trade statistics; devise institutional mechanisms for services-related decision-making; and improve competitiveness in the services sector.