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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How does GATS and the WTO agreement as a whole help me as an exporter of services?

Almost all major export markets and nearly all product and services sectors are covered by the WTO Agreement, which has as its goal the creation of a trading system which is freer, more competitive and beneficial to developing countries. The primary benefit for services exporters is increased transparency and predictability in the rules applicable to international trade.

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