Studies

Analysis of cases to understand good practices across a range of services-related topics.

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.

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.

Since 2007 New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme has been a successful temporary migration programme allowing Pacific island residents to work for a season in New Zealand. This paper explores the interests, ideas and institutions behind its creation. The RSE represents a high point in the design of evidence-based policy which will be difficult to repeat because the building blocks are so rarely all present at the same time and place. The scheme solved the horticulture and viticulture sector’s labour shortages, brought income to the Islands and cemented New Zealand’s influence in the Pacific region.

This case study reviews private sector-related institutional mechanisms for services policy-making and negotiations in Barbados, as well as in Botswana and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). It highlights the critical role of business-support organisations in collaborating with policy-makers to improve the business and investment climate.

This paper examines good practice in services trade data collection and compilation in “better performing” LDCs/LICs and suggests a toolkit that can be followed in the remaining LDCs/LICs to improve data availability.

This study is an attempt to bridge the divide between the international education community and the international trade community, by identifying where education overlaps with the four primary delivery modes of services trade. Higher education services have emerged as an important and growing component of many nations’ economic strategies, with recent estimates placing the sectors’ market above $1 trillion. Despite cross border higher education (CBHE) featuring increasingly in many country’s trade portfolio, this does not appear to have resulted in an equivalent increase in the interaction between education and the trade policy communities. This lack of interaction results in many lost opportunities to use trade and economic development resources to advance international education efforts, and vice-versa.

This case study analyses how the telecom sector has been liberalized and reformed in Vietnam. From having a wholly government-owned monopoly to opening up the market, the reform road has been and remains paved with challenges. Results today are nevertheless encouraging, with prices having significantly dropped, wider choices for consumers, and private and foreign service providers finding it easier to enter and thrive in the industry.

One of the reasons for the lack of participation of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Low Income Countries (LICs) and Lower Middle Income Countries (LMICs) in services negotiations has been on the one hand, the lack of understanding by the trade officials of the specifics of services sectors and on the other hand, the trade aspects by the sectoral service officials. This case study examines the link between electric energy services regulation and policy and services trade aspects under the World Trade Organization (WTO) General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) with the aim of understanding what is the trade dimension within the electric energy services.