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Twins, Siblings or Friends: the Conceptual Case of Goods and Services, Where Do We Stand and Where Could We Be Headed to?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers evolving concepts in the services sector by drawing to the extent possible on observations of goods sector and relating them to discussions on evolving disciplines within the context of multilateral trading system. It outlines the changing role and significance of services in world trade and within national economies. The chapter explores the impact of the lack of conceptual clarity on data collection, the measurement of services trade and consequently on policy making within the services sector. It considers what may be construed as services characteristics and contrasts them to the extent possible with the characteristics of goods. The chapter attempts to identify some of the principal drivers of services growth and considers their potential implications for services sector. It outlines some of the discussions relating to three evolving services disciplines within the context of the WTO. These services disciplines are domestic regulation, emergency safeguard measures and subsidies.

Keywords: domestic regulation; emergency safeguard measure; goods sector; multilateral trading system; services growth; services sector; subsidies; World Trade Organization (WTO)



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