Simply Services: A Trade in Services Speaker Series
“Simply Services — A Trade in Services Speaker Series” is an informal platform for the exchange of knowledge and information on trade in services. Open to all delegates and the Secretariat, it regularly convenes services experts to the WTO to share the latest information on trends in services trade.
Focus on Services Domestic Regulation - Regulatory disciplines in economic integration initiatives and economic benefits deriving from their implementation
Tuesday, 21 September 2021 at 15:00 – 17.00 (Geneva time - CEST)
WTO premises and Zoom platform
- OECD: Lowering APEC trade costs through services domestic regulation reform
- Study on APEC's Non-Binding Principles for Domestic Regulation of the Services Sector
- WTO — Services Domestic Regulation — Locking in Good Regulatory Practices
With a view to finalizing negotiations on services domestic regulation (SDR) by the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference, participants in the Joint Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation have produced a stable set of draft SDR disciplines. On this basis, recent analysis has examined the following questions: (1) How are the SDR disciplines designed by the Joint Initiative comparable to those included across economic integration initiatives, in particular some of the most recent trade agreements? (2) What could be the economic impact of implementing the SDR disciplines at the national level? This Simply Services Seminar will provide an occasion to share and discuss recent research on the topic by US-SEGA, the OECD, and the WTO Secretariat.
- Xiaolin Chai, Director, Trade in Services and Investment Division, WTO
- Jeremy Schanck , Deputy Chief of Party, US-Support for Economic Growth in Asia (US-SEGA) Project
- Felipe Sandoval, Senior Services Specialist, US-Support for Economic Growth in Asia (US-SEGA)
- Janos Ferencz, Trade Policy Analyst, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)
- Sebastian Benz, Trade Policy Analyst, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)
- Markus Jelitto, Counsellor, Trade in Services and Investment Division, WTO
- Elena Bertola, Legal Affairs Officer, Trade in Services and Investment Division, WTO
- Laura Baiker, Economic Affairs Officer, Trade in Services and Investment Division, WTO
- Jane Drake-Brockman, Industry Professor, Institute for International Trade, The University of Adelaide
COVID-19, Cross-border mobility and trade
Tuesday 20 July 2021, 13.30 - 14.30
Due to a technical problem, the first few minutes of the session do not appear in the Webcast — the moderator's introductory statement is therefore provided here.
The cross-border movement of individuals plays a crucial role in trade, and in services trade in particular. With the objective of containing the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world have introduced temporary measures limiting mobility, including a range of health requirements at borders, that have had a significant trade impact. Cooperative efforts are currently under way to safely restart international mobility, and this Simply Services webinar will present relevant initiatives and perspectives of four international organizations.
- Dr. Nedret EMIROGLU, Director, Country Readiness Strengthening Department, Health Emergency Program, WHO
- Mr. Javier LOPEZ GONZALES, Senior Trade Policy Analyst, Trade and Agriculture Directorate, OECD
- Mr. Ciarán CAROLAN, Programme officer, Aviation Security and Facilitation, ICAO
- Ms. Sandra CARVAO, Chief of Market Intelligence and Competitiveness, UNWTO
- Ms. Antonia CARZANIGA, Counsellor, Trade in Services and Investment Division, WTO
The role of Maritime Transport in the Post-COVID Recovery
Tuesday 29 June 2021, 11.00 - 13.00
Organized in co-operation with the International Chamber of Shipping.
Maritime transport is the lifeblood of the world economy, accounting for 90% of world trade in volume. It has played a critical role in keeping trade flows open and supply chains intact during the COVID-19 pandemic. As governments seek to chart a course to a swift and equitable post-COVID recovery, they need to consider policies that would facilitate maritime transport and allow economies to reap the full benefits of maritime trade growth.
On 24 February 2021, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) published a quantitative study on ‘Protectionism in Maritime Economies’, co-authored with Professor Craig VanGrasstek of Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Using the WTO Integrated Trade Intelligence Portal (I-TIP) as one of the primary data sources, the ICS Study identifies tariff and non-tariff policies being implemented by governments worldwide, which are impacting not only maritime transport, but also various other associated economic activities. The study lays out four scenarios for trade policy reform and develops an Index on Protectionism in Maritime Economies (PRIME Index).
The ICS Study could serve as a basis for dialogue between the trade community and the maritime transport sector, between governments and industries, with the aim of improving cooperation and promoting a more secure and more predictable trading environment for maritime transport and supply chains.
In this context, a Simply Services Session will take place on 29 June 2021 to present and discuss the ICS Study. Experts from national maritime authorities, the shipping industry, the trade community, and International Organizations will shed light on the evolution of maritime transport before, during and after COVID-19, how maritime transport can contribute in economic recovery from the pandemic, and the role of the world trading system in facilitating maritime transport and strengthening supply chains.
COVID-19 and Green Economic Recovery: What Roles for Sustainable Tourism?
Tuesday 22 June 2021, 16.30 - 18.30
More information about this event here.
Connectivity, Competition & Collaboration
The 3Cs of Digital Trade
What policies for post-COVID success?Tuesday 22 June 2021, 15.00 - 16.30
This seminar on Connectivity, Competition and Collaboration features academics and experts who have researched and written highly informative studies on the digital landscape (see below).
One of the panelists has explored the features of regulatory frameworks that enhance connectivity to communications infrastructures, so as to raise e-readiness and narrow the digital divide. Another has examined how Internet is organized so as to move data and content across the globe and the unique attributes that play a role in how competitive forces affect whether companies may succeed or founder in the online world, and when and how consumers can benefit. Other of the panelists are actively engaged in fostering capacity building and collaborative mechanisms to enhance Internet governance and communication within and among governments and other stakeholders. In the digital trade space, the concerns being dealt with in WTO and elsewhere span a great many different policy and regulatory communities, service sectors, and technical disciplines.
Some of the important considerations that WTO Members may wish to take into account in their deliberations have shifted or have become more urgent as a result of the pandemic. The need for clear understanding the new landscape and for extensive international collaboration have become even more urgent today, as a result.
- Raul Katz, Director of Business Strategy Research at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information
- Shane Greenstein, The Martin Marshall Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
- Lorrayne Porciuncula, Director, Data & Jurisdiction Program, Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network
- Marilia Maciel, Digital Policy Senior Researcher, DiploFoundation
- Lee Tuthill, Senior Counsellor, WTO
- The impact of policies, regulation, and institutions on ICT sector performance
- The Basic Economics of Internet Infrastructure and Digital Infrastructure, S. Greenstein
- We Need to Talk About Data, I&J Policy Network
- Addressing the Digital Divide in the JSI, M. Maciel
- Telecommunications Industry in the Post-COVID-19 World. Report of the VII ITU Economic Experts Roundtable
Trading Services for a Circular Economy: Opportunities in the post-COVID-19 context
Thursday 4 March 2021, 10.00 - 11.30
Organized in co-operation with the Permanent Mission of Finland (Geneva), the Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
This webinar will discuss the role of services trade in supporting the transition toward a more circular economy, one that promotes enhanced resource efficiency and the decoupling of economic growth from extractive, wasteful and polluting processes. The event will present the main findings from a recent report by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) on Trading Services for a Circular Economy, which compiles new evidence on trade in services related to the circular economy. The presentation of the report will be followed by an interactive panel discussion that will address the interlinkages between services trade and circularity, particularly in the post-COVID-19 context.
- Ms. Saara Tamminen, Leading Specialist, the Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra)
- Ms. Bezawit Eshetu, Circular Economy Expert, African Circular Economy Network (ACEN)
- Mr. Joost de Kluijver, Founder, Closing the Loop
- Ms. Marie Isabelle Pellan, Counsellor, WTO
- Mr. Shunta Yamaguchi, Policy Analyst, OECD
- Ms. Alice Tipping, Lead, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (Moderator)
Health-related services: Challenges for trade policy and future possibilities
Friday 24 July 2020, 13.30 - 15.00
Organized in co-operation with the World Health Organization (WHO), Department of Digital Health, Department of Health Workforce, and Department of Integrated Health Services
Over the years, trade in health-related services has been growing, whether through the establishment of transnational firms providing such services or the development of health tourism. There are also two other modes for supplying these services internationally that have gained importance in recent years: telehealth and the international mobility of health workers, as made further prominent in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. There have until now been few market access commitments made on these services, whether in the GATS, regional or bilateral trade agreements. This event will present recent developments in the sector, in particular telehealth and health worker mobility. It will identify how a strengthened collaboration between health and trade stakeholders could serve to significantly expand sustainable development worldwide. There is potential for health stakeholders to strategically leverage trade dialogue and agreements to meet health system needs. Building on available tools, trade in services could help address the concerns of the health sector by ensuring a response to worldwide demand, while explicitly addressing health systems concerns across countries.
- Mr. Derrick Muneene (WHO), Unit Head of the Capacity Building and Collaboration Team, Digital Health and Innovation Department, World Health Organization
Telehealth – experiences, acceleration and sustainability
- Prof. Gibson Kibiki, Executive Secretary/CEO of the East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC)
- Dr. Pirkko Kouri, Principal Lecturer in Healthcare Technology, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, School of Healthcare
- Prof. Rajendra Pratap Gupta, Chair, Dynamic Coalition on ‘Internet & Jobs’, Internet Governance Forum, United Nations
International health worker mobility
Building Back Better in Tourism: The roles of international organizations
Tuesday,23 June 2020
Anders Aeroe, ITC
Kim Kampel, Commonwealth Small States Office
Jane Stacey, OECD
Zoritsa Urosevic, UNWTO
"Thinking about re-imagining a better tourism at this time is like calling in an architect instead of the fire service while it's burning down."
At a time when protecting both lives and livelihoods in the face of COVID-19 predominates, reimagining -- and preparing for -- tourism's future is a daunting task. Current scenarios indicate the potential shock could range between a 60-80% decline in the international tourism economy in 2020. Beyond immediate measures to support the tourism sector, countries are also shifting to develop recovery measures and support the re-opening of the sector. Considering that multilateralism itself faces serious threats, the roles of international organizations in "Building Back Better in Tourism" becomes especially relevant. The Event will present specific measures undertaken by the UNWTO, OECD, ITC, the Commonwealth and the WTO to address these challenges, as well as discuss the broader tourism roles of international organizations.
Launch of the new World Bank/WTO Services Trade Policy Database and the updated World Bank Services Trade Restrictions Index
Thursday, 16 January 2020, 11h00-12h00 Room E — WTO
The Services Trade Policy Database (STPD), a joint initiative by the World Bank and the WTO Secretariat, provides information on services trade policies and regulations applied by 68 economies in five major subsectors (financial services, telecommunications, distribution, transport, and professional services). Based on the regulatory and policy data contained in the database, the updated World Bank Services Trade Restrictions Index (STRI) measures the restrictiveness of these countries' policies. In addition to the presentation of the database and the updated STRI, the event will provide an opportunity to further look into current services trade policy patterns, the evolution of trade policy over the last decade, as well as the significance of trade costs in services.
TISMOS: a new global trade in services data set — what the modes of supply tell us?
Friday, 29 November 2019, 10h00-12h00 Room E — WTO
TISMOS, or Trade in Services data by Mode of Supply, is a new experimental dataset that was released on 29 July 2019. It was developed by the WTO Secretariat with the objective of providing a long-awaited analytical dimension to the trade in services data — namely, the mode of supply dimension. The Secretariat has been working on this project in close consultation with experts in other international organizations, selected data compilers and academics. It was funded by the Directorate-General for Trade of the European Commission.
This Simply services session will detail how the dataset was built, its contents and explain how it can be used. It will also outline some of the recent initiatives of Members in this area. Finally, experts will present some first results and possible applications.
Trade in Legal Services — Current Realities and Future Possibilities?
Monday, 20 May 2019, 15h00-17h30 Room S1 — WTO
Overview of Legal Services Commitments under the GATS
- Markus Jelitto, WTO Secretariat
The Changing Nature of Legal Services Post-Uruguay Round
- How is trade in legal services undertaken and regulated?
- How has trade in legal services evolved globally since 1995 and does this have any relevance for scheduled commitments?
- Regional Trade Agreements and bilateral agreements as a mechanism for liberalisation?
- Alison Hook, Hook Tangaza, United Kingdom
- Thierry Ngoga-Gakuba, Legaline Partners, Rwanda
The Future: Challenges and Opportunities
- The challenges and opportunities posed by the growth of digital trade in legal services
- The challenge of regulating legal services in future
- Regional Trade Agreements and bilateral agreements as a mechanism for liberalisation?
- Jonathan Goldsmith, Independent Consultant, Belgium
- Iain Miller, Kingsley Napley, United Kingdom
Trade Commitments and Domestic Policy Change
- How have legal services commitments been used as a tool for domestic change?
- How are acceding Members influenced by the need to make commitments?
- What are the main concerns of those WTO Members without commitments in legal services?
- Mickael Laurans, Law Society of England and Wales, United Kingdom
- Stevan Dimitrijevic, Dimitrijevic & Partners, Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Mfon Usoro, Paul Usoro & Co, Nigeria
- How the IBA can support and assist negotiators in future
- Alison Hook, Chair IBA Trade in Legal Services Committee
Digitalization in Maritime Transport: Recent Trends and Implications for Trade Policies
Tuesday, 14 May 2019, 13h00-15h00, Room S2 — WTO
Delegation from the shipping industry:
- Mr. Simon Bennett, Deputy Secretary General, International Chamber of Shipping
- Capt. Ang Chin Eng, Secretary General, Asian Shipowners' Association
- Ms. Lieselot Marinus, Director, European Community Shipowners' Associations
- Ms. Christine Korme, Director, Norwegian Shipowners’ Association
- Mr. Jukka Savo, Policy Officer, European Commission
Maritime transport is undergoing digital transformation. Given the complexity of the sector and the necessity of physical delivery it involves, most people outside of the sector may not be aware of or have difficulty understanding how digital technologies are transforming maritime transport and their policy implications. At this session, representatives from the international shipping industry and EU Commission provided the first-hand information on digitalization in maritime transport: the latest trends and their implications for trade policies. In particular, they addressed the following issues: How digital technologies are transforming the shipping industry, in particular in terms of productivity, market structure, jobs, and shipping value; opportunities and challenges the shipping industry is facing in the digital age; the main impediments for the shipping industry to benefit from the technological advances; possible policy responses to digitalization in maritime transport, and the EU Maritime Single Window Project as an example in this regard. The representatives of the international shipping industry also expressed their strong support for the rule-based multilateral trading system.
Recent Preferential Trade Agreements’ Disciplines for
Tackling Regulatory Divergence in Services:
How Far beyond GATS?
Friday, 10 May 2019, 16h00-17h30
Room E — WTO
- Dr Gabriel Gari, Queen Mary University, London
Professor Gari's presentation reviewed regulatory disciplines in a sample of representative services PTAs entered into by China, the EU, Japan, and the USA. It takes stock of a remarkable expansion in the number and extent of disciplines on regulatory transparency, regulatory coherence, and regulatory cooperation compared with GATS, which, subject to adequate implementation, will allow these agreements to deliver a degree of market integration well beyond what could be achieved simply by removing market access restrictions and discriminatory measures from the rule book.Three services negotiators, Messrs Ryan Davidson (Canada), Sam Rea (New Zealand), and Fabien Gehl (European Union) provided practical perspectives on the negotiation of domestic regulation disciplines in preferential and multilateral contexts.
Jurisdiction on the Internet: Implications for digital services
Thursday, 20 September 2018, 13h00-15h00
Room E — WTO
- Mr. Paul Fehlinger ,Deputy Director of the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network
- Ms Lee Tuthill, WTO
Global Financial Development Report 2017/2018
— Bankers without Borders
Wednesday, 20 June 2018, 15h00-17h00
Room E — WTO
- Ms. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Director of Research, World Bank
- Mr. Juan A. MARCHETTI, WTO
Countries that are open to international banking can benefit from global flows of funds, knowledge, and opportunity, but the regulatory challenges are complex and, at times, daunting. The Global Financial Development Report 2017/2018: Bankers without Borders brings to bear new evidence on the benefits and costs of international banking, particularly for developing countries. Building on novel data, surveys, research, and wide-ranging country experiences, with emphasis on emerging markets and developing economies, the report reviews recent trends and emerging patterns since the global crisis, as well as evidence on the economic impact of international banking. Synthesizing evidence and data to date, the report provides a unique contribution to financial sector policy debates.
Cyber Security by and for Service Providers
Challenges, opportunities and best practice
Tuesday, 22 May 2018, 10h00-12h00
Room D — WTO
- Dr. Michael NELSON, Tech Strategy, Cloudflare
- Mr. Marco OBISO, Cybersecurity Coordinator, ITU
- Prof. Solange GHERNAOUTI, Dept. of Information Systems, HEC. UNIL
- Ms. Lee TUTHILL, WTO
The panel addressed cybersecurity in the context of e-commerce and trade in services. Mr. Nelson, of Cloudflare, offered a brief history of the Internet, concluding that cloud computing now permits SMEs to benefit from reduced costs. He said cybersecurity if of growing importance for the Internet of things (IOT), but that laws and regulations should not inhibit start-ups and SME's from innovating and entering markets. Suppliers needed frameworks that increase trust and encourage strong encryption. He cautioned against data localization, as well as protectionism and restrictive standards as costly and detrimental to the digital economy. Mr. Obiso, of ITU, noted that as global reliance on ICTs grows, so does vulnerability to attacks on critical infrastructure, including in the e-commerce, banking and financial systems. Ensuring resilient critical infrastructures involved addressing malware and cyber-attacks, and developing better regulations, public awareness and human capacity. He said the challenges are greater for developing countries. He recommended e-commerce companies use secure market platforms, secure online checkout, and complex passwords. He recommended governments adopt of national cybersecurity strategies, develop cyber-ready regulations, and enhance incident response capabilities. Professor Ghernaouti added that users' responsibility to safeguard security should not be underestimated. Similarly, she said, it is the responsibility of every stakeholder to inspire consumer trust and confidence.
The African Continental Free Trade Area and Services Integration in Africa “State of Play and Prospects”
Thursday, 3 May 2018, 11h00-13h00 - Room E — WTO
- Mr. Malcolm Mc KINNON, SADC/GFA Consulting
- Ms. Martine JULSAINT KIDANE, UNCTAD
- Ms. Vahini NAIDU, Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Africa
- Mr. Markus JELITTO, WTO
A panel of experts discussed the state of play and prospects of various African services integration initiatives, with a specific focus on the recently concluded AfCFTA. Malcolm Mc Kinnon, Senior Trade Advisor to SADC, provided an overview of the level of integration and status of work in the six regional economic communities. Martine Julsaint Kidane, from UNCTAD's Division of International Trade and Commodities, set out the structure of the AfCFTA and the approach of the agreement to the negotiation of schedules, regulatory issues, and movement of persons. Vahini Naidu, from the Mission of South Africa, explained how the AfCFTA is connected to the Africa 2063 and other African integration initiatives. The slides used during the seminar can be accessed here.
Measuring Services Trade in the Digital Age
Thursday, 1 March 2018, 11h00-13h00 Room S 2 — WTO
- Mr. Andreas MAURER, Chief of the WTO Trade in Services Statistics Section
- Ms. Diana KORKA, Economic Affairs Officer, ICT Policy Section, UNCTAD
- Mr. Martin ROY, Trade in Services and Investment Division
Experts discuss how to measure services trade in the digital age
Experts from the WTO Secretariat and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) met at WTO headquarters on 1 March to discuss how to better measure trade in services in the digital age. The event was the first in the “Simply Services” speaker series, an informal platform for sharing the latest information on trends in services trade.
Andreas Maurer, Chief of International Trade Statistics at the WTO, described efforts currently under way among international agencies to enhance measurement of digital trade. He underlined how current statistics address elements relevant for digital trade and highlighted some of the challenges ahead from a statistical standpoint.
Diana Korka, from UNCTAD's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy Section, presented UNCTAD's project on measuring exports of ICT-enabled services. She noted that the increasing importance of services delivered over ICT networks offered increasing opportunities for developing countries. As a result, there was greater demand for better data to capture services exported in such a manner. Pilot implementation of the project had been conducted in three developing countries in 2017.