As part of the E15 initiative, Dr Gabriel Gari joined a group of experts on trade in services to prepare a report on "Rethinking Services in a Changing World", which was presented at the World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos in January 2016.
Services have needed rethinking for a long time in a changing world. The role of services in production, consumption, and trade has evolved dramatically in the last few decades. Information-related and transport technologies have splintered production locationally and facilitated the separation of production and consumption over greater distances. At the same time, they have greatly shrunk space and time, providing a platform for the explosive growth of international trade and investment. The world of policy has been trying to catch up with the evolution of services and servicification in the global economy where services are increasingly recognised as a prominent source of value creation, employment and growth. However, questions arise about the adequacy of arrangements for cooperation in this domain, and, in particular, whether the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and preferential services agreements are fit for purpose.
The report examines these issues and puts forward policy recommendations for government action to develop an international services regime that addresses today’s economic and regulatory challenges, while fostering international cooperation and competition. Their unifying characteristic is that they are all recommendations that could change the framework for future trade policies and negotiations.
Jointly implemented by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and the World Economic Forum, the E15 initiative was established to convene world-class experts and institutions to generate a credible and comprehensive set of policy options for the evolution of the global trade and investment system to 2025.