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Services trade has grown considerably in the past decade and is estimated to now account for around half of international trade. At the same time, the 2019 WTO World Trade Report found that the costs of trading services are about twice as high as trade costs for goods. A significant portion of these costs are the result of regulatory divergence, as well as opaque regulations and cumbersome procedures.

Through the WTO Joint Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation, a group of 63 WTO Members—both developed and developing economies, accounting for over 70 per cent of international services trade—is aiming to conclude negotiations this year to mitigate any trade restrictive effects of authorization measures, such as licensing and qualification procedures.

The Initiative's goal is to lock in and promote good regulatory practices that can increase predictability and efficiency for businesses operating across the world.

Please note on the page 4 Box 2 of the WTO JSI DOM Reg Fact sheet the reference to PECC’s 2016 survey findings showing lack of regulatory transparency as the most significant regional barrier to trade in services.

Click on the link to download:
WTO Services Domestic Regulation Fact sheet


*This fact sheet is posted with permission from WTO.