Mobilizing Business for Trade in Services

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12 Feb 2014
9789213614839 (PDF)

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This book helps government and business to collaborate effectively, and can assist in training on trade negotiations and export strategies. It summarizes key arguments on the role of services in development, providing analysis and explanation of the regulatory reforms and trade negotiations needed to foster a vibrant services sector in developing countries. The book also reviews the following individual sectors: tourism; transport and logistics; communications; audiovisual; computer and business process outsourcing; financial services; professional and other business services; construction; distribution; and cultural and recreational services.

Also available in French, Spanish
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  • Foreword

    When business leaders in developing countries are asked whether opening trade in services represents a threat or an opportunity, many see a real chance to grow their businesses. In fact many see it as a must.

  • Acknowledgements

    Malcolm McKinnon, former Head of Trade in Services at the United Kingdom’s Department for Trade and Industry, and former Chief Executive of SITPRO Ltd, the United Kingdom’s trade facilitation body, is the author of this book. He has based it on his 11 years as the United Kingdom’s leading official expert on trade in services (1994-2005), as well as more recent consultancy projects on trade in services, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, and is entirely responsible for the views expressed.

  • Abbreviations
  • Executive summary

    For developing countries to tap into the vast potential offered by the growing services sector, their business communities must be fully involved in efforts to expand trade in services and tackle related regulatory issues. Business-government relations are at the heart of opening trade in services.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts How liberalizing services trade can help development

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    • The case for liberalizing services

      This book begins with an assumption – that all countries seek economic development to improve the wellbeing of their people. This drives governments to pursue policies that allow businesses and individuals to prosper, and then redistribute some of this wealth to people less able to look after themselves. Economic development is achieved through growth, and growth is achieved through wealth creation.

    • What does trade in services mean?

      There used to be a very simple rule of thumb defining services as ‘anything that you cannot drop on your foot’. This was probably intended to mean that trade principally comprises goods, services and agricultural products; and services are anything that is not a good (goods being both agricultural and industrial products). The reality is more complex. Intangible (or invisible) trade also covers broader items such as foreign direct investment (which can relate to goods as well as services), intellectual property rights and royalties (which are received as exports from selling a country’s services abroad).

    • Managing regulatory reform

      Services are widely subject to domestic regulation. This partly reflects key differences between the nature of goods and services. If, for example, a consumer buys a television that doesn’t work, depending upon local consumer protection laws he or she can take it back to the shop where it was bought and have it replaced, or perhaps receive a refund. But as services are supplied and consumed simultaneously, poor quality services cannot be taken back to the supplier.

    • The business agenda for liberalization
    • Trade agreements and business

      Many governments prefer to liberalize as part of the conclusion of trade agreements. While economists tend to argue in favour of unilateral liberalization, policymakers tend to lean towards reciprocity (Bhagwati, 2002). The choice between unilateral liberalization and reciprocal liberalization is often down to the size of the countries concerned and the extent to which they may be able to influence world prices. In that sense: unilateral liberalization tends to be favoured by countries that are too small to have any appreciable effect. Large countries that have the power to do so tend to negotiate reciprocal agreements.

    • Making trade agreements work
    • Working together on business goals

      For business to play a full role in reform of the services sector, not only must governments consult it, but business must also have the capacity to perform effectively in such discussions. Consultation serves the interests of governments and business. Because there are challenges for business, this chapter outlines how businesses can group themselves to keep abreast of developments and respond to consultations. It identifies successful examples and draws lessons for business in developing countries.

    • Business can help build capacity
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Liberalization in individual sectors

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    • Individual service sectors

      This part of the book looks briefly at some individual sectors, the key characteristics of those sectors, the importance of trade in the sector, including the importance to developing countries, the regulatory issues raised and the drivers for liberalization, from the perspective of business. It highlights developments in the sectors with references to case studies.

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