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World Trade in Services Grew 6% in 2000
Nov 1, 2001

World trade in commercial services totalled $1,435 billion in 2000 and grew 6% from the previews year, according to the latest WTO Report on International trade Statistics 2001, released October 25, 2001. Merchandise trade increased by 12% in 2000, but the outlook for 2001 is a much more timid 2% increase due to the slowdown of the world economy.

The fastest growing exporters were the Asian and Latin American economies that registered 12% growth in 2000. Other regions with fast growth in commercial exports was North America with 10% change from 1999, while Western Europe registered no growth and African exports of commercial services slumped to near zero in 2000.

The European Union as a whole continues to be the largest exporter of commercial services with 40% of all services trade, followed by the North American economies excluding Mexico. Latin America, which includes Mexico, exported 4% of world trade in services in 2000. Asia’s share of world services exports reached 21% in 2000 with Japan and China producing 5% and 2% of world trade in services respectively. The growing share of China’s services exports follows a pattern of sustained growth in services exports by an astonishing 18% since 1998.

Other commercial services including finance, telecommunications, and business services continued to grow faster than travel and transportation. Other commercial services constitute 44% of world trade in commercial services, while the shares of travel and transportation continued to shrink in a trend that started since the 1990s. Travel is now 33% of world trade in commercial services while transportation is just over 20%.

Intra-regional trade of commercial services in the EU was 55% in 2000. This figure has changed little since the early 1990s despite growing integration of services markets. Intra- NAFTA trade in commercial services stands at 25% of the regions trade in commercial services. Intra-regional trade in merchandise is over 73% in the EU and about 50% in NAFTA. Readers are cautioned to jump to conclusions about the relative inefficacy of regional integration agreements in services in spurring cross-border trade since services are delivered internationally through other means including commercial presence that entails foreign direct investment. The statistics could suggest, however, that more has to bee done in terms of liberalization to increase cross border trade in services.

To download the full WTO report follow this link:

http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/statis_e/its2001_e/its01_toc_e.htm http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/statis_e/its2001_e/its01_toc_e.htm

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