unctad.org | Services and Structural Transformation for Development
Services and Structural Transformation for Development
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The Nairobi Maafikiano, adopted at UNCTAD 14 in 2016, called upon UNCTAD to: “continue and reinforce its work on trade in services, services data and statistics and analysis of trade and services for development”.

It also mandated UNCTAD to: “continue and further enhance its work on infrastructure services and support developing countries in the establishment of policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks that contribute to infrastructure development”.

Based on this mandate and also on the outcome of the Trade and Development Board, UNCTAD has convened the fifth session of the multi-year expert meeting on trade, services and development to focus on the role of the services economy and trade in structural transformation and inclusive development, as key issues for trade and development. Particular attention was given to infrastructure services such as energy, financial, telecommunications and information and communication technology (ICT), and transport services.

This publication reflects the deliberations and results of the fifth session of the multi-year expert meeting on trade, services and development on services, structural transformation and inclusive development.

Together with the multi-year expert meeting, this publication is part of UNCTAD’s overall toolbox to assist countries in developing regulatory and institutional frameworks to allow harvesting the benefits of services for economic transformation and development.

The Global Services Forum, also a part of this toolbox on services, is another important platform to share best practices and form partnerships in trade in services. UNCTAD has also developed country surveys, case studies and dedicated research.

Services Policy Reviews, another central element of this toolbox, provide support to policymakers and regulators in assessing the potential of services productive capacities and trade and the robustness of regulations and institutions.

This allows identifying constraints for the development of the services economy and trade and also practical solutions and policy options for best-fit practices to improve services performance.

Services Policy Reviews draw on UNCTAD’s longstanding experience of more than 20 years supporting the national assessment of services.

This publication also draws from the results of this toolbox with a view to assist developing and least-developed countries to pursue their development objectives by strengthening their services economy and trade.

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