Latin America's Emergence in Global Services

A New Driver of Structural Change in the Region?

image of Latin America's Emergence in Global Services
Business services have been one of the fastest growing export areas in emerging economies over the past decade. The spread of information and communication technologies and the rise in trade liberalization have facilitated the global unbundling and offshoring of services activities from advanced to developing countries, including those in Latin America. The empirical and analytical insights in this volume document how several countries in Latin America have entered the offshore services sector both through the attraction of multinational companies and the internationalization of domestic service suppliers. The future of the offshore services sector in Latin America will depend on its ability to upgrade its knowledge - and skill-intensive product offerings. This will call for the development of domestic technical capabilities, the adoption of renewed industrial policies, the promotion of backward and forward linkages, and the continued upgrading of human capital and information technology-integrated manufacturing.



International service tradability: Understanding the offshoring of services

In industrialized countries, the interest in the internationalization of services remains on centre stage: in the WTO Doha negotiation, the agreement on the pursuit of the liberalization process is at stake because of the fear of job losses. Former studies show that service firms follow two objectives in the internationalization process: to conquer new markets to take advantage of new growth opportunities or to improve global competitiveness by outsourcing specific activities. These two motives now seem to be converging. Therefore, the main challenge is not to stem the direct job losses caused by firms settling abroad, but to evaluate the net result between these job losses and the benefits of the international market expansion in terms of newly created jobs. This chapter explores how service firms are organized and what modalities they use to expand at the international level; analyses the mechanisms of delocalization to identify which factors allow service activities to develop abroad; and discusses the determinants of the international movement of services, which is a first step towards modelling their offshoring probability.


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