ITC hosts ‘fireside’ chat for services businesses and trade negotiators
Businesses and trade negotiators share views on the role of trade in services in securing sustainable growth in the least developed countries (LDCs).
Finding common ground for services in a globalized world was the purpose of leading services companies who came together at the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) headquarters on 14 April. Ahead of the meetings of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations, representatives from the Global Services Coalition met for a ‘fireside’ chat to share perspectives between representatives of Geneva-based LDC country officials and services-sector associations and companies.
The idea behind the meeting was to raise awareness of the importance of services in world trade and the potential that developing and least developed countries have in services export and to explore ways in which international services companies can share their experience and expertise.
Opening the meeting, Anders Aeroe, Director of ITC’s Division of Market Development, said: ‘Today is a good opportunity for industry representatives to learn more about what’s on the minds of the trade negotiators and for trade negotiators to learn more about what’s happening on the ground.’
He pointed out the importance that services play, in particular for LDCs. Referring to a recent ITC study, Mr. Aeroe said that one-quarter of LDCs are net exporters of services and for nearly half of them, services exports as a share of total exports is well above the global average.
‘Given the important role that services trade play for their economies, LDCs attach great importance to the service trade negotiations, especially the current LDC services waiver negotiations,’ Mr. Aeroe said. ‘Many members have come up with positive signals on proposed preferential treatment to LDC service suppliers in various services sectors. I hope that the negotiation will sustain its momentum and bring good opportunities to LDC services exporters’.
The visiting delegation included representatives from the United States Coalition of Services Industries, the European Services Forum, the CityUK, the Taiwan Services Coalition, the Hong Kong Coalition of Service Industries, the Australian Services Roundtable and the National Business Association of Colombia.
Read more about ITC’s work on Trade in Services.