Group on Services
The Group on Services (GOS) was established by the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) in 1997 to address trade and investment liberalization and facilitation tasks in the area of services, as mandated in the Osaka Action Agenda and instructed by APEC Leaders, Ministers, Senior Officials.
Last page update: September 2018
APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap (ASCR)
- In the APEC Services Cooperation Framework, Leaders committed to “develop a strategic and long-term APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap in 2016 with the adoption of a concerted set of actions and mutually agreed targets to be achieved by 2025.”
- Services are critical to the future growth of all APEC economies. Efficient services generate productivity increases and contribute to innovation.
- However, growth in services trade and its associated benefits will not happen automatically. For services to remain globally competitive APEC economies must address factors constraining services trade and investment, such as:
- Restrictions that increase distribution and other services costs, negatively impacting upstream producers both domestically and in other economies;
- Policies that limit consumer choice, fail to boost productivity and constrain the competitive pricing of goods and services;
- The lack of reforms vital to improving the productivity, competitiveness, and quality of services that support traditional sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and mining; and
- The shortage of programs and opportunities that promote the greater participation of the broader community in the services sector, including small and medium enterprise owners, indigenous businesses, and women.
- The key objective of the roadmap is to enable concrete action towards agreed targets both at the economy and regional level. The roadmap prescribes actions that promote growth and job creation across APEC economies by enhancing the competitiveness of the services sector.
- The roadmap was one of the main deliverables of APEC for 2016 and was adopted by Leaders at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) in November that year.
Public-Private Dialogues (PPDs) on Services
Several public-private dialogues (PPDs) have been held for the past few years:
PPD on Cross-Border E Commerce in Services: The Transformation to Digitization; Addressing the Challenges and Reaping the Benefits for Regional Trade in Services: held on 12 August 2018, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, it highlighted the role of cross-border ecommerce in services in regional trade and services value chain development, and the implications of digitalisation in implementing ASCR.
PPD on New Technologies and ASCR, held on 2 October 2017, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with the objective of building capacity of policy officials and regulators to understand and develop policy on new technologies that are consistent with services industry needs, in an increasingly digitalized world. The dialogue helped generate ideas among stakeholders and build momentum for the effective implementation of the ASCR and raise awareness in the services business community of the work that APEC is doing related to the ASCR.
PPD on Services, held on 23 February 2017, Nha Trang, Viet Nam, to provide input for the ASCR as well as to exchange information on the situation and impediments faced by service providers in APEC with a focus on distribution, transport and logistics services.
Environmental Services Action Plan (ESAP)
In the Joint Statement of APEC Ministers in November 2014, the ministers welcomed the endorsement of the initiative on liberalization, facilitation and cooperation of environmental services, and instructed officials to develop a plan of action by the APEC Ministerial Meeting in 2015.
Following that, Japan proposed several key actions to be implemented in 2016–2020 to realize the vision.
The ESAP takes the following two-track approach:
- First, a survey will be undertaken to provide APEC economies with the necessary information to gain greater insights about efficient regulatory and trade promotion policies in environmental services.
- Second, APEC economies will continue to consider and study broader environmental industries/businesses with a view to build and enhance a common understanding of the roles of services in these industries/businesses. This study is expected to contribute towards both the discussions on the scope of environmental services and identifying challenges relating to environmental businesses.
Manufacturing-Related Services Action Plan (MSAP)
Following the 2014 Leaders’ Declaration, when APEC Leaders welcomed “the initiative on manufacturing related services in supply chains/value chains as a next generation trade and investment issue, and instruct officials to develop a plan of action in 2015,” Japan proposed for the creation of the Manufacturing-Related Services Action Plan (MSAP) with a view to increasing the availability and accessibility of services, through the liberalization and facilitation of manufacturing-related services, and to further deepening economic integration in the region.
Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize Micro-, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
The Market Access Group (MAG) acknowledges its function in providing timely and accurate information on export and import procedures and requirements through the development of guidebooks, usage of trade information and review of import licensing requirements, which will increase the transparency of trade data, and their accessibility to smaller businesses.
Major APEC publications on services are available here
Ms Joanne Lovejoy Lovejoy
Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Services Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Mr Steven MILON ESPARZA