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'Services Trade: New Approaches for the 21st Century' conference was held on 1-3 June 2011 in Hong Kong, China in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), the Economic Research Centre of the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies (HKIAPS), and the Institute of Global Economics and Finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).
View the opening addresses (via YouTube)
Services are key to economic growth and competitiveness. The idea of fragmentation and complexity on global supply chains for services has not been adequately understood or studied. There is evidence that services firms, just like manufacturers, take a supply chain view of their business. The task of rebalancing the economies in the aftermath of the recent global financial crisis could be helped by clarifying the priorities for policy options in services reform, by reducing costs in the supply chain, and overall by designing innovative and effective services policies.
At the opening session during the conference in Hong Kong, PECC Co-chair Dr. Charles Morrison said that “service trade area is where we want to see how Asia Pacific countries not only promote liberalization, efficiency and delivery of services within the region, but also how we can promote global trade in services.”
Dean of ADBI, Dr. Masahiro Kawai emphasized that offshore outsourcing has grown dramatically since the end of the 20th century and that outsourcing is no longer restricted to manufactured goods coming out of factories. Many services, even in highly specialized and technical areas, can now be delivered electronically by outsourcing. “Like previous industrial revolutions and technology advances, offshore services are expected to deliver higher standards of living, raise productivity, and alleviate poverty in the developing world, especially in those economies that are ready to benefit because of their better education, adequate numbers of trained workers and access to advanced communications technology,” he added.
PECC-ADBI joint project aims to analyze the impact of services trade on economic growth, specialization, investment, human resource development, and regulatory policies as well as study how competitiveness and governance can be improved in the sector.
More information on the project is available here.
Short interviews with some of the speakers at the conference (accessible by YouTube):