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    Trade in Services: Facts and Figures

     

     
     
    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 2/2005

    Study after study shows that services - and service exporting - are generally misunderstood. Creating awareness about service exporters and their needs is the first step to increasing trade in this promising area for developing countries.

    Exports of services offer a valuable option for the economic growth of developing countries. Consider this: ITC research in 25 developing countries indicates that they are already exporting a wide variety of services - on average, 68 different service categories to an average of 33 export markets. There is a significant percentage of South-South service trade, with developing countries accounting for 67% of service export markets.

    In developing countries, the most common ways to deliver services (known as modes of supply) are through foreigners consuming services when they visit a country, and through visits of service providers to foreign markets to sell their services. In the two other recognized modes of supply, only the service moves across the border (e.g., by e-mail, the Internet or courier), and the supplier sets up an office in the customer's market.

    The most common developed-country markets for service exports are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

    Doreen Conrad is Chief of ITC's Trade in Services Section.