Implications for 21st Century Trade and Development of the Emergence of Services Value Chains
Services industry groups have identified services supply chains as a “21st century” issue demanding specific attention in the WTO and in bilateral, regional and plurilateral trading arrangements. This is an issue for which the trade policy community seems relatively ill-prepared at present, there being a dearth of knowledge and policy research on services value chain issues. Although there has been much attention devoted in trade discussions recently to the issue of global value chains for goods, the authors highlight the fact that the concept is as relevant to services activities as it is to merchandise production. In new business models, enterprises are outsourcing not only the assembly of goods, but also many increasingly fragmented services-related tasks. Thus there is a strong need to understand better the role that services are playing in the new 21st century patterns of trade that are emerging.