The services sector plays an increasingly important role in the global economy and the growth and development of countries through the generation of opportunities for greater income, productivity, employment, investment and trade. Indeed, manufacturing activities and competitiveness increasingly depend on services, a phenomenon known as "servicification".
Services are also crucial for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Strengthening the domestic services sector by increasing its backward and forward linkages with the primary and the secondary sectors, as well as its linkage with trade, can be an effective component of a comprehensive development strategy. For developing countries, service trade is the new frontier for enhancing their participation in international trade and, in turn, realizing development gains. Moreover, as services trade demonstrated relative resilience in the latest financial and economic crises this creates additional incentives for countries to incorporate services trade into their national trade and growth strategies.
Miho Shirotori and Bruno Antunes, UNCTAD
Personal services sectors such as tourism, hospitality and retail at a standstill due to drastic measures taken in the fight against COVID-19.
Designing Trade Liberalization in Africa: Modalities for tariff negotiations towards an African Continental Free Trade Area
Documents and Publications
Services Policy Reviews
Each review guides requesting countries through a systematic review of the economic, regulatory, institutional and trade policy environments characterizing their service sectors. The aim is to assist them in improving regulatory and institutional frameworks and to identify policy options that could advance national development objectives.
The final report provides analysis, recommendations and an action plan to assist policymakers and trade negotiators.