Simply Services

Simply Services: A Trade in Services Speaker Series

"Simply Services ľ 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.

Cyber Security by and for Service Providers
Challenges, opportunities and best practice
Tuesday, 22 May 2018, 10h00-12h00 Room D - WTO




  • 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. 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.



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