Stories

Los exportadores de servicios de los PMA hablan de los retos relacionados con el acceso a mercados mundiales (en)

8 mayo 2014
ITC Noticias
ITC seminar offers platform for dialogue with policymakers and takers

Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) services exporters from least developed countries (LDCs) and representatives of business associations are sharing their perspectives on the challenges of tapping into the global market at a seminar organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC).

The event, called ‘LDC services exports: business success stories and challenges’, is being held at the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in Geneva from 8–9 May 2014.

As part of the dialogue, exporters from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific are discussing practical issues they have faced – including constraints at official and regulatory levels – in delivering their services to global markets.

‘Commercial services account for only 10% of total exports from LDCs,’ said Anders Aeroe, ITC’s Director of Market Development, who is chairing the event. ‘So although services represent close to 50% on average of the GDP of LDCs, exports of services are currently not contributing much to the GDP of LDCs. This is, however, also an indication of opportunities for further developing services exports from LDCs. There are many success stories on the LDC services-export sector, and ITC aims to improve understanding of the various ingredients for their achievements.’

The growth potential for LDC services exports lies in the variety of services that are available, according to WTO Deputy Director-General Yi Xiaozhun, who delivered welcome remarks on the first day of the event.

‘While tourism and travel are key exports for many LDCs, other infrastructure services such as transport and communication, as well as financial services, are growing in many of them,’ said Mr. Xiaozhun. ‘Several LDCs are also recording growth in the dynamic business-services segment.’

Among speakers at the first day of the event were representatives of a healthcare association in Uganda promoting private healthcare services; a Zambian insurance company with a commercial presence in the United Republic of Tanzania, which is seeking to expand across the border to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo; a travel-services company in Myanmar, which organizes tours in all newly opened regions in the country; and a consulting company that conducts research on the role of diasporas and trade in services in the Caribbean.

Supporting exports from key services sectors requires measured government intervention, which can ‘promote access to low-cost and high-quality services’, said Selina Jackson, World Bank Special Representative to the WTO and United Nations, who delivered opening remarks.

‘Non-transparent or burdensome regulations can curtail competition, introduce unnecessary procedures on business and scare away possible new entrants to the market,’ said Ms Jackson.

The seminar is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.