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    Trade Forum's Choice: Resources for Trade in Services


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


    Have the articles in this issue addressed your needs? Are you looking for more information on specific topics? These resources, from ITC and other organizations, can give you more insight into specific service topics.

    Services as export and development opportunities

    International Trade Centre (ITC)
    The site for ITC's Trade in Services Section provides technical information and resources to help enterprises, service sector associations and governments boost exports of services.

    International Trade Forum magazine
    Trade Forum online offers a new, special collection of over 50 articles on exporting services. The collection is trilingual, based on articles of the past few years, and touches on topics such as building credibility, developing national strategies, sector studies, women entrepreneurs, using technology and others. (See "Trade Forum Collection on Trade in Services" for more information.)

    ITC Executive Forum on National Export Strategies
    Each year, the site offers results of applied research on trade development topics. In 2005, the topic is "Exports of Services: Hype or High Potential?" The site supports an annual gathering of business leaders and government officials from developed and developing countries. It contains research papers, participant profiles and recommendations for each discussion topic.

    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
    See the "Enterprise, Industry and Services" section for reports on entrepreneurship, corporate governance and industrial restructuring in the service sectors of various countries. The analyses can help governments formulate policies that foster business development.

    Team Canada Inc.
    "Export Your Services... Take a World View" provides information and tips to firms about exporting services.

    Service exporting issues

    Global and regional trade talks

    World Trade Organization (WTO)
    See the "Services trade" section for an introduction to trade in services and the WTO Agreement, access to the legal texts of GATS and the schedule of commitments made by member states.

    Global Services Network
    The site features news about the status of negotiations, economic reports, analyses, book reviews, academic papers and speeches by officials and business leaders about the services industry.

    ITC's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) Consultation Kit
    Business and industry associations can use the kit to capture private sector input on service trade issues and to advise governments on appropriate negotiating objectives for trade in services.

    The Trade Directorate's Services site contains reports, working papers and policy briefs for developing and transition economies on issues such as liberalization of services, GATS negotiations and labour mobility.
    The "Trade in Services in South Eastern Europe" CD-ROM toolkit (to order from the site) helps trade policy-makers to enhance their understanding of trade policy issues and negotiating procedures.

    ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services
    Provides insight into the objectives of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Framework Agreement, which deal with restrictions and liberalization on trade in services, and promotes cooperation in services between member states.


    UNCTAD World Investment Report 2004
    Presents the latest trends in foreign direct investment and explores the shift towards services, with an analysis of offshoring service activities.

    Quality management

    International Organization for Standardization
    Reports from joint ISO/WTO regional conferences in 1998 (Asia, Latin America, Europe, North America) that examine the role of standards in developing the service sector.

    World Tourism Organization
    The page on quality management describes the organization's programme for quality in tourism development, with a focus on the economics of tourism, trade and the enterprise. The programme helps government and private sector members to pursue quality-related objectives, standards and measures.

    Service sectors

    Below is a sample of sites about selected service sectors with significant trade development potential.


    World Tourism Organization
    The site contains information about the organization and its programmes, which cover issues such as market intelligence and promotion, quality and sustainable tourism. Also available: tourism industry news; a calendar of international meetings; and news from members in different regions.

    International Council of Tourism Partners
    The site showcases socially responsible tourism strategies and helps members worldwide stay connected.

    Travel Wire News
    Aimed at travel professionals, with news coverage of issues that affect the global travel industry.

    UNCTAD E-tourism Initiative
    The site describes UNCTAD's initiative to help least developed countries make the most of their tourism potential.

    Transport and logistics

    UNCTAD Transport and Trade Logistics
    The site contains information about transport services from reports, case studies, presentations and reviews.

    Information and communications technology

    World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA)
    WITSA is a consortium of 67 information technology (IT) industry associations from around the world, representing 90% of the world IT market. It advocates policies that advance the industry's development, facilitates trade and investment in IT products and services, and strengthens national industry associations.

    Statistics for trade in services

    Data on service industries is not always easily available. Here are some sources with international statistics on services.

    A brief on "Capturing and Utilizing Services Trade Statistics: A Guide for Statistical Compilers in Developing Countries", provides an eight-step approach to overcome challenges of collecting statistics, the resources needed, reference documents and data quality issues. Includes a survey to determine what services are currently exported and priority export markets.

    United Nations Statistics Division
    The Manual on Statistics of International Trade in Services is available online at this site. It provides the international standard for collection of service statistics.

    Mark Twain Institute
    The foundation seeks to improve the quality of economic statistics that measure the performance and direction of the global economy. It focuses on statistics about trade, particularly trade in services.

    Services Industries Trends
    A clearinghouse for information about the world's service sectors, including the latest reports, books, articles and statistics.

    World Tourism Organization
    List of publications for sale about market trends and indicators.

    ITC's TradeMap
    ITC has statistics on trade in services in its Trade Map application. The categories include: transportation; travel; communication; construction; insurance; finance; computer and information technology; royalties and licence fees; other business services; personal, cultural and recreational services; and government services.


    • ISO 9001:2000: A Workbook for Service Firms in Developing Countries (2004; 2005 edition in preparation)
    • The Changing Marketplace: Putting "E" to Work (CD-ROM) (2003)
    • Business Guide to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (2001)
    • Innovating for success in the export of services: A handbook (2001)
    • Successful Services Exporting: A handbook for firms, associations and governments (2001)
    • Trade in Services: An answer book for small and medium-sized exporters (2001)
    • Offshore Back Office Operations: Supplying Support Services to Global Markets (2000)
    • Trade in Information Technology Products and the WTO Agreements: The Current Situation and the Views of Exporters in Developing Countries (1999)

    To order these books visit http://www.intracen.org/eshop


    Training packs
    • "Successful Services Exporting" training modules, aimed at government officials, trade attachés posted abroad, trade support institutions and firms.
    • "Managing Professional Service Firms for Global Competitiveness" for use by educational institutions.

    Contact services@intracen.org for further information

    Briefing papers

    Briefing papers produced by ITC's Trade in Services Section often serve as preliminary research to develop specific projects, magazine articles or books. The following papers are available:

    • Are developing countries exporting services?
    • Trade promotion approaches for service exports
    • E-trade for service firms
    • Business tourism
    • Including services in national export development plans
    • Choosing your service export market

    Contact services@intracen.org for a copy or see


    Trade in Services technical assistance programme. This is based on a six-phase approach: national service exporting capacity study; appointment of local "champions"; creation of a web portal for networking; delivery of train-the-trainer programmes; regional networking meeting for trade support institutions; and assistance to government for promoting trade in services.
    Contact services@intracen.org

    Community-based tourism initiatives. Pilot project in Brazil to help poor communities benefit from exports by integrating their services in the tourism industry. The project is being replicated in Bolivia, Djibouti, El Salvador and Viet Nam.
    Contact leclercq@intracen.org

    Service exporters with disabilities. Pilot project combining ITC expertise in trade in services with a Brazilian non-governmental organization's knowledge on the economic integration of professionals with disabilities, in close cooperation with national trade support institutions. The aim is to develop methodologies that build institutional capacity to help disabled people export services.
    Contact lomoro@intracen.org

    Business Management System for the hospitality sector. In partnership with the Ecole Hôtellière de Lausanne, ITC is tailoring its Business Management System and enterprise audit tools for the hospitality sector. It is testing the material in El Salvador, as a part of activities with the Ministry of Tourism.
    Contact orejas@intracen.org

    Exporting services online. ITC is developing a pilot project with the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme, which aims to assess countries' potential, develop partnerships to harmonize business and government positions on services exporting, match business with buyers, and assist countries or sectors to brand themselves as online service suppliers.
    Contact semine@intracen.org or benfadhl@intracen.org

    Other trade development activities are as relevant to the service sector as goods firms, such as technical assistance in trade talks, quality management, trade finance, trade law, etc.
    See ITC's web site at http://www.intracen.org

    Contributors to online resources: ITC: E. Barreto, D. Conrad, L. Schmid, K. Yeboah-Konadu; OECD: N. Dihel