Unleashing the Next Engine of Growth: A Services Trade Agenda beyond Doha and the TPP
March 7, 2016Competitiveness and Productivity

Even as goods trade stumbles, services trade remains resilient. The internationalization of services—from transport and telecommunications to health and education—offers powerful development opportunities. But we still know relatively little about the pattern of both services trade and policy. Policy makers from Malaysia to Mexico confront the challenge of boosting productivity with surprisingly little evidence on the impact of services trade policy reform and how such reform is best designed. International trade negotiators too have limited knowledge of what impedes trade and why.

In this presentation, Aaditya Mattoo will describe how efforts to improve data, in particular through the World Bank’s Services Trade Restrictions Database, are spurring research and policy dialogue. Digitization and aging, as well as liberalization and other reforms, are transforming international services markets. But there is evidence of divergent globalization, with relatively few developing countries taking advantage of new opportunities despite evidence of large potential gains.

The strength of regulatory institutions is emerging as critical not just to implementing successful reform at home but also to overcoming regulatory barriers to exports. However, international negotiations—from Doha to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—have not done much to reap these gains because they have tried mechanically to mimic the goods-negotiating model of reciprocal liberalization. More could be achieved through greater emphasis on, and World Bank support for, international regulatory cooperation and infrastructural coordination.

Last Updated: Feb 17, 2016

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    Aaditya Mattoo, Research Manager, Trade and International Integration, Development Research Group

    Aaditya Mattoo is Research Manager, Trade and Integration, at the World Bank. He specializes in trade policy analysis and international trade agreements, and provides policy advice to governments. Prior to joining the Bank in 1999, Mr. Mattoo was Economic Counsellor at the World Trade Organization. Between 1988 and 1991, he taught economics at the University of Sussex and Churchill College, Cambridge University. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Cambridge, and an M.Phil in Economics from the University of Oxford. He has published widely in academic and other journals on trade, trade in services, development and the WTO and his work has been cited extensively, including in the Economist, Financial Times, New York Times, and Time Magazine.
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    Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Director of Research

    Asli Demirgüç-Kunt is the Director of Research in the World Bank. After joining the Bank in 1989 as a Young Economist, she has held different positions, including Director of Development Policy, Chief Economist of Financial and Private Sector Development Network, and Senior Research Manager, doing research and advising on financial sector and private sector development issues.
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    Anabel González, Senior Director, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, Trade & Competitiveness

    Anabel González is Senior Director of the World Bank Group Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness (from July 2014). In this capacity, she leads a team of 500 people to design and implement the World Bank Group's global and country agenda in the areas of trade, investment climate, competitiveness, innovation and entrepreneurship. Previously, she served as Costa Rica’s Minister of Foreign Trade (2010-14) During her tenure, Anabel led Costa Rica’s efforts to join the OECD, negotiated, approved, and implemented six major free trade agreements, and implemented investment climate enhancement policies that contributed to attracting over 140 new investment projects. She also had a lead role in Costa Rica’s Competitiveness and Innovation Council.

The Policy Research Talks showcase the latest findings of the research department and their implications for World Bank operations. The goal of the monthly event is to facilitate a dialogue between researchers and operational staff, so that we can challenge and contribute to the World Bank's intellectual climate and re-examine conventional wisdom in current development theories and practices.  Read More »

Event Details
  • Date: March 7, 2016
  • Time: 12:30 - 2:00PM
  • Location: MC 13-121, World Bank Headquarters
  • CONTACT: Tourya Tourougui

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