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AFRICA’S TRADE IN SERVICES AND ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS Paul Brenton Africa Region, World Bank Brussels, October 7, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "AFRICA’S TRADE IN SERVICES AND ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS Paul Brenton Africa Region, World Bank Brussels, October 7, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 AFRICA’S TRADE IN SERVICES AND ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS Paul Brenton Africa Region, World Bank Brussels, October 7, 2010

2 Overview 1  The importance of services  Trade in services  Trade policy for services matters  The challenge of coordinating regulatory reform and trade liberalisation  The opportunities and risks from an EPA

3 Context: Services in the modern economy 2

4 Context: Services matter 3  For growth  Productivity growth can be higher than in manufacturing  Technological change important for services  Significant learning and knowledge spillovers through clustering.  For employment  Services largest contributor to job creation  High employment rates for women  For poverty reduction  Poverty reduction more strongly correlated with growth of services than with growth of manufacturing See Ghani, E (ed) The Service Revolution in South Asia, World Bank-OUP, 2010

5 Trade in services plays key role 4  Exports of services can drive diversification Potential 18 million new jobs in developing countries from offshoring of services (each job generates a further 3 jobs)  Imports of services and FDI can lead to greater competition, lower prices, higher quality and more variety

6 Trade policy for services 5  Competition is essential to increase efficiency  Competition leads to lower prices+better quality services.  Competition pushes service suppliers to reduce waste, improve management and reduce operating costs  forces suppliers to pass on cost savings to consumers in the form of lower prices.  Competition undermines costly rent-seeking activities Trade liberalisation can increase competition + attract FDI  Small national markets in Africa cannot generate level of competition needed to drive efficiency and adoption of new technologies.  Small size means attracting investment from overseas is important for key infrastructure services.

7 Many services require regulation  Market failures in many services sectors can impact on both efficiency and equity.  natural monopoly, systemic risks, asymmetric information, and externalities require regulation.  Effective regulation and capacity  Regulation can be complex  Weak regulation leads to less competition and higher costs  Must avoid regulatory capture

8 Effective regulation and capacity  In electricity need to monitor and consider:  Output and consumption (access levels, Consumption levels and growth, unsatisfied demand);  Efficiency (Productivity levels and growth, Cost levels and changes, Capacity and utilization, losses);  Quality of supply (Continuity, Quality, customer service)  Financial performance (Financial surpluses and losses, rates of return, indebtedness and interest burden);  Capacity, investment, and maintenance (Capacity levels and margins, investment, maintenance expenditure);  Prices (prices and full economic costs, efficiency of subsidies Tariff design and technical and economic efficiency);  Competition (Well-functioning bid auction markets, Well-functioning and competitive generation and supply markets)  Social indicators (Affordability especially for low-income consumers, Impacts on development)

9 Coordination of trade and regulatory reform  a dynamic process – no strict sequencing  Appropriate regulations may be necessary to realize benefits of trade liberalization emphasis on competition, sound regulation and wider access Trade brings new technology which may require change to regulatory approach  Trade opening with inappropriate regulations can result in adverse outcomes  Need for capacity to design and implement appropriate regulations and monitor impact

10 Strategy for trade in services  Improve data and initiate dialogue with stakeholders  Focus on priority services sectors  Offensive export interests  Domestic sectors where increase in FDI/competition essential for competitiveness  Assess current regulatory policies and openness to trade and FDI  Discuss appropriate forum for trade liberalisation of services  Unilateral, Regional, EPA or multilateral  Obtain technical assistance to increase capacity of regulator and improve regulations 9

11 Services trade policies appear less restrictive in Africa Source: Gootiz and Mattoo (2009)

12 But Africa has not bound openness at WTO Source: Gootiz and Mattoo (2009)

13 Reticence to make commitments on services at WTO 12  Mercantilist bargaining approach not effective for services  GATS/WTO not adequately addressed the issue of regulatory reform and capacity building  Lack of clarity over technical assistance  Need forums/platforms of best practices and lessons for successful trade and regulatory reform

14 Regional integration and services  Risks from preferential liberalisation – MFN dominates – especially in network industries  Regional integration can allow for learning effects  But can give first-mover advantage to less efficient firm  But potential gains from mutual recognition  Move faster at the regional level than in EPA or multilateral in sectors with similar standards and regulatory approaches  Opportunities from regional regulatory cooperation  Avoid regulatory capture  Can allow for faster reform  Pooling of technical capacities for regulation

15 Thick borders in Africa limit integration 14  High trade costs create “thick” borders.  These are a key barrier to regional and global integration.

16 Opportunities from a services EPA  Provide credibility to reform process  Improvement in access to EU????? Especially mode 4 beyond skilled workers  Provisions on regulatory issues of particular importance to Africa Tourism - Shipping?  Financial and technical assistance  Enhance regional integration

17 Risks of a services EPA?  Broad but shallow GATS type agreement  Too much focus on market access  without coordinated regulatory reform and capacity building  Preferential liberalisation

18 A development-oriented services EPA for Africa  A coordinated sector-by-sector regulatory-reform/trade- opening process  Flexible approach to timing of reforms and a phased strategy towards implementation.  An emphasis on locking in non-discriminatory liberalization of services imports  EPA can be a part of process not an end-point!

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20 Africa Trade Policy Notes Thank you for participating

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