News: Services

Services Domestic Regulation - Doing the Obvious

cut costs

Markus Jelitto is Counsellor at the Services Trade Division, WTO Secretariat, Geneva. 
Services Trade has been growing continuously over the past three decades and was worth USD 13.3 trillion in 2017. Services value added accounts for almost half of all world trade (goods and services combined). Despite these impressive figures, the 2019 WTO World Trade Report finds that costs of trading services are about twice as high as trade cost for goods. A significant portion of these costs are attributable to regulatory divergence, as well as opaque regulations and cumbersome procedures. Through the development of disciplines on services domestic regulation, a group of currently 63 WTO members has set out to address these cost factors.

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Morphing Risks to Australia’s Goods Trade with China

Boat in water

At the start of 2020, the US-China Economic and Trade Agreement (the Phase One Agreement or Agreement) captured the attention of Australian policy makers and business. China had agreed to substantially increase goods imports from the United States in 2020 and 2021 and to accept certain US standards and conformity assessment procedures to assist US companies to access Chinese agricultural markets.
 

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Putting the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) into perspective: Five key points

city scape view

Bryan Mercurio is Simon F.S. Li Professor of Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  On 30 December 2020, the European Union (EU) and China ‘in principle’ concluded  negotiations on a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). The European Commission published the text of the CAI on 22 January 2021. The agreement has been welcomed by the business community but criticised by civil society and the United States (US).

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The EU-China Investment Deal: Perspectives of the European services sectors on new opportunities in the world’s second largest economy

EU Flag

Dr Pascal Kerneis is Managing Director of the European Services Forum, Brussels.
On 30 December 2020, the European Union and China have concluded in principle the negotiations for a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). What could this agreement bring to European service businesses?

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Australia-Singapore Digital Trade Agreement: Setting new benchmarks in Trade Governance

Digital Economy

Jane Drake-Brockman, Industry Professor, Institute for International Trade, The University of Adelaide.
Australia has achieved its most comprehensive deal on digital trade. The government has put down clear markers for other bilateral and regional trade negotiations, including with the EU; and taken a global leadership role, along with Singapore, in signalling vital directions for the WTO negotiations on Electronic Commerce (e-commerce).

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Prospects for Australian free trade with a post-brexit United Kingdom

Shipping

Andrew Stoler, former WTO Deputy Director-General; former Office of the United States Trade Representative senior trade negotiator; and former Executive Director of Institute for International Trade.
Now that the United Kingdom (UK) is once again pursuing an international trade policy independently of its previous membership in the European Union (EU), the UK Government has made clear that it intends to pursue free trade agreements (FTAs) with “Anglosphere” countries (United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).

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