Services Trade and the Global Economy synthesises recent work by the OECD analysing services trade policies.
The rise of services in international markets is to a large extent driven by the ICT revolution. Once the output of a service activity can be codified, it can in principle also be digitised and transmitted over electronic networks globally. The book highlights the increasing importance of lowering barriers to services trade as a means to ensure that the benefits of digitalisation can be maximised. Liberalisation and pro-competitive reforms in the telecommunications sector – the infrastructural backbone of the digital economy – are associated with a substantial reduction in the trade costs for business services. High capacity networks at competitive prices are a necessary condition for a digital transformation of knowledge-intensive services as well.
Based on the OECD Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) - a unique, evidence-based tool that provides snapshots of regulations affecting trade in services in 22 sectors across 44 countries (representing over 80% of global trade in services) - the analysis highlights the magnitude, nature and impact of the costs entailed by restrictive services trade policies.