Uncovering Services Trade Opportunities

Article excerpt

ITC is helping to keep services in the spotlight.

Services contribute to jobs and economic growth in all countries. With efficient service economies, countries in the developing world can tap into global and regional trade opportunities. ITC's Trade in Services Section is continuing to build awareness about export opportunities in business services through its technical cooperation projects and work with ServiceExportNet, its network of beneficiary countries.

A series of "Bridges Across Borders" networking events among services industry associations is helping to uncover regional business opportunities. An African-Arab meeting took place in Tunisia, in parallel to the International Fair for Services (SISE), where ITC had a booth and organized technical training workshops. Participants from six South American countries met at a Bridges Across Borders meeting in Peru - the first ITC regional networking event in the region. A third event, in November 2006 in South Africa, brings together participants from 13 countries in the Southern African Development Community. They will focus on transportation and logistics, construction and engineering, and financial services.

Moves toward cooperation

Results are increasingly visible. In Peru, four franchising associations signed a cooperation agreement and software associations agreed to build a common platform, which will improve regional efficiency in the development of software. The integration of information technology associations is an important step towards an efficient service economy. It is taking place in Sri Lanka, where the Information Technology Enabled Services Association (ITESA) groups 14 companies specializing in business process outsourcing (e.g., data processing, call centres, vocational schools and accountants). ITESA realized that strategic partnership was a major draw for outsourcing projects to the country. …