World Trade Report 2019

The future of services trade

Services have become the most dynamic component of global trade, with an increasingly important role in the global economy and in everyday life. Yet the extent of services’ contribution to global trade is not always fully understood. The World Trade Report 2019 attempts to remedy this by examining how trade in services is evolving and why services trade matters.

The Report uses a new dataset developed by the WTO that captures the various ways in which services are supplied across borders, providing a new estimate of the total value of services trade.

Major trends affecting trade in services, including demographic changes, digital technologies, rising incomes and climate change, are examined. The Report also looks at how services trade may evolve over the next 20 years and how it may contribute increasingly to inclusive growth and development.

The Report examines how costs for services are declining, largely due to the impact of digital technologies, and how this is expected to expand the share of services in global trade. It concludes that if economies are to reap the benefits of the growing role of services trade, international cooperation will need to intensify.

The publication also includes a number of external contributions in the form of opinion pieces.

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