International conference: WTO Public Forum

South Africa - 21 November 2017

Title: Driving inclusive growth and enhancing intra-African trade through service sector development
Author(s): Paper presented by Grater, S. & Viviers, W.

The development of services sectors in least-developed countries (LDCs) has the potential to strongly support the achievement of sustainable development objectives, which includes empowering small firms and enhancing female participation in the economy. Services are becoming a critical ingredient in the efficient functioning of value chains and have come to dominate much of global production and trade. In fact, in many cases they determine the competitiveness and productivity of a given value chain. Given the importance of services in bringing about structural transformation and greater economic inclusivity, addressing supply-side barriers is vital. This paper will highlight the sustainable development dimensions of services, examine the most pressing supply-side constraints confronting service providers in LDCs and highlight potential solutions, including regulatory change, targeted Aid for Trade interventions and new investment approaches.