Services trade liberalization at the regional level: does southern and eastern Africa stand to gain from EPA negotiations?

This paper discusses the opportunities and challenges for Southern and Eastern African ACP countries of services negotiations in the context of European Partnership Agreements. The paper provides an overview of existing flows in services from and to Southern and Eastern Africa, an overview that suffers from the paucity of relevant data. Given the significant differences among services sectors, the paper provides a separate discussion for several of them, including financial services, tourism and business services. The latest developments in each sector are described and the issues that are at stake in trade negotiations. In this context the competitive position of Southern and Eastern African countries is compared with the position of the European Union and other global players. The paper attempts to identify possible export opportunities for Southern and Eastern African ACP countries and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of giving preferential access to EU suppliers in those services sectors where African countries are likely to import. Particular attention is paid to the role of mode 4 in the discussed services sectors.

No: ERSD-2006-06


Marion Jansen — Economic Research and Statistics Division — WTO


Manuscript date: May 2006

Key Words

regional trade agreements, trade in services, GATS, Africa

JEL classification numbers

F13, F15, O19


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This is a working paper, and hence it represents research in progress. This paper represents the opinions of the author, and is the product of professional research. It is not meant to represent the position or opinions of the WTO or its Members, nor the official position of any staff members. Any errors are the fault of the authors. Copies of working papers can be requested from the divisional secretariat by writing to: Economic Research and Statistics Division, World Trade Organization, rue de Lausanne 154, CH 1211 Geneva 21, Switzerland. Please request papers by number and title.

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