Group on Services

The Group on Services (GOS) was established by the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) in 1997 to address trade and in 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 and the CTI.
Last page update: August 2017

Key Initiatives

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 strongly to innovation throughout the entire economy.
  • 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, including:
    • Restrictions that increase distribution and other services costs, impacting negatively on upstream producers both domestically and in other economies;
    • Policies that limit consumer choice, fail to boost productivity and constrain 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 greater participation of the broader community in the services sector, including SMEs, indigenous businesses, and women.
  • The key objective of the Roadmap is to enable concrete action towards agreed targets both at an economy and regional level.  Action under the Roadmap will promote growth and job creation across APEC economies by enhancing the competitiveness of the services sector.
  • The Roadmap is aimed as one of the main deliverables of APEC for 2016 and was be adopted by Leaders at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) in November 2016.

Public-Private Dialogue on Services

The Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) on Services was held successfully on 23 February 2017, in the margins of the First Senor Officials Meeting (SOM1) at Nha Trang, Viet Nam. The dialogue was held to provide input for the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap (ASCR) as well as to exchange information on the situation and impediments faced by service providers in the APEC Region with a particular focus on distribution, transport and logistics services.

APEC Symposium on Good Policy and Regulatory Practices for Facilitating Trade and Investment in Services – Toward the APEC Services Roadmap

The symposium held on 24-25 May 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was a wrap-up of the eight symposia of good regulatory practices in the services sector, inclusive of accountancy, legal, financial, international education, transport and logistics, telecommunication and ICT, mining and energy, and architectural and engineering services. The objectives were to:

  • Examine the key outcomes; learnings and good policy principles and regulatory practices addressed throughout the eight service sectors;
  • Explore barriers to women’s economic participation through services-related policies and regulations to facilitate greater participation by women in the service sector;
  • Finalize the work undertaken throughout the service sector specific symposia through the redrafting of the workshop compendium; and
  • Finalize a set of good policy principles for economies in the APEC Region to inform the APEC Services Roadmap

Environmental Services Action Plan

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 Environmental Services Action Plan (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.

The GOS also supports and contributes to the development of the following services-related initiatives:

APEC Virtual Knowledge Centre on Services

The Knowledge Centre would serve as an interactive hub for services stakeholders looking for information on all services-related outputs by APEC, current policies and agreements affecting services trade, current research on trade in services, as well as best practices of services-related policies and programs within APEC member economies. The GOS will play a major role once this initiative is implemented by the Philippines.

Manufacturing-Related Services Action Plan (MSAP)

Following the Leaders’ Declaration during the AELM 2014, i.e., “welcome[d] 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.

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Group On Services

GOS has made significant progress in activities that facilitate the development of open and efficient services markets in the APEC region.