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Export of Services of Servicing Exports?

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Information and communications technology has ensured that many producer services, as well as more ‘basic’ services such as transportation or insurance, are now more tradable than ever. All the indications are that this trade will increase. This has raised the international profile of service and altered governments to their potential as sources of export revenue. This is seen as one way of enhancing national (or regional) economic performance. But should this be assumed to be a panacea for improving national economic growth and restructuring? The general pattern and structure of international trade in services is examined to show that, while valuable, the direct contribution of services to national exports is actually growing relatively slowly and the pattern of trade is highly concentrated. It may actually be important to recognize and nurture the indirect contribution of services to overall national export activity. Goods production and distribution is increasingly dependent on service knowledge and skill; its export competitiveness is a function of the expertise and intellectual knowledge (mainly services) incorporated in the products, the ‘value’ of those products to consumers, and the ways in which they reach out to their markets.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0435-3684.2000.00069.x

Affiliations: School of Geography and Environmental Sciences, The University of Birmingham

Publication date: April 1, 2000

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