This report presents an in depth analysis of the importance of services in the Australian economy, the regulatory environment for services in Australia and the performance of Australian services trade internationally. It builds on the OECD’s 2016 publication Services Trade in the Global Economy, and its findings and recommendations that national administrations should consider adopting whole-of-government strategies to capitalise on the demonstrated potential of co-ordinated services trade policy and regulatory reforms to help make trade work for all.

The scope and parameters of this report were defined by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The research and analysis was conducted by the Trade in Services Division of the OECD, employing in-house tools such as the Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) and measurements of value-added trade (TiVA), drawing from organisation-wide sectoral expertise and developing new micro-data evidence in conjunction with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Quantitative findings were complemented by qualitative input gathered during a series of structured interviews in August and September 2017 facilitated by DFAT and the Australian Services Roundtable.

We hope the evidence presented in this report is useful in informing a strategic discussion among Australian policy makers and exporters on the likely effects of co-ordinated domestic policy action, priorities for promoting behind-the-border regulatory reforms in strategic international markets, and the benefits of an ambitious bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral trade policy agenda that contributes rules-based certainty and predictability to services trade in the global economy.

End of the section -- go next , or previous on the menu bar