Trade in Services

An Answer Book for Small and Medium-Sized Exporters

image of Trade in Services

Services have played an important role in world trade for centuries. However, in the past 40 years, the focus of the services trade has shifted away from facilitating the trade in goods to trading in the services themselves. Dramatic changes in communications and transportation technologies have made this possible. While exporters of goods and services face similar challenges, services exporters have to deal with unique issues, many related to their intangible nature. This guide addresses these issues and offers practical and relevant advice to small and medium-sized enterprises to help them improve their export performance or enter new markets.

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Does gender make a difference in doing business abroad?

Despite an increase in the number of women in business, traditional biases and practices that discriminate against women continue to exist in many countries. In some instances, potential local partners or customers are simply not used to dealing with businesswomen in positions of authority. This may be true even if women are well represented in the political hierarchy. In other instances, cultural practices make it difficult for female services exporters to network or acquire informal market information. It is important to note that the treatment of women residents in a particular country does not necessarily indicate how foreign businesswomen will be dealt with.

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