Group on Services
The Group on Services (GOS) was established by the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) in 1997 to address trade and investment liberalization and facilitation tasks in the area of services, as mandated in the Osaka Action Agenda and instructed by APEC Leaders, Ministers and Senior Officials.
Last page update:June 2020
APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap (ASCR)
In the APEC Services Cooperation Framework, Leaders committed to “develop a strategic and long-term APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap in 2016 with the adoption of a concerted set of actions and mutually agreed targets to be achieved by 2025.” The roadmap was one of the main deliverables of APEC for 2016 and was adopted by Leaders at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) in November that year.
The key objective of the roadmap is to enable concrete action towards agreed targets both at the economy and regional level to promote growth and job creation across APEC economies. The ASCR focuses on enhancing the competitiveness of the services sector by:
- Promoting good regulatory practices, international regulatory cooperation and sound competition policy frameworks and institutions
- Ensuring more open services markets
- Ensuring an adequate supply of skills in a rapidly changing economy
- Facilitating effective and inclusive financial markets
Through the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap Implementation Plan (2016–2025) relevant APEC fora implement 19 APEC-wide actions to improve the competitiveness of the services sector. Each APEC-wide action includes a plan for implementation and measurable targets.
The GOS is responsible for monitoring progress under each APEC-wide initiative covered by the roadmap to inform Senior Officials and Ministers of progress.
A mid-term review of the roadmap will be carried out in 2021 and will be reported to the 2021 APEC Ministerial Meeting. The review will seek to ensure that APEC-wide and individual actions are in place to achieve the objectives of the roadmap by 2025.
Final Push in Services
In 2019, the Final Push in Services, to achieve the unfinished business of the Bogor Goals, was launched to pursue work in five specific areas. These areas are led by the following champion economies:
- Domestic services regulation: United States
- Support towards the development of an APEC Index for Measuring the Regulatory Environment in Services Trade in APEC: Korea
- Facilitating talent mobility through the recognition of qualifications and skills: Australia
- Environmental services: New Zealand
- Manufacturing-related Services: Malaysia
The champion economies help coordinate work in their areas and report on progress on how they are contributing to the Final Push in Services. The corresponding initiatives are also aligned with the APEC-wide actions of the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap (ASCR).
Environmental Services Action Plan (ESAP)
In the Joint Statement of APEC Ministers in November 2014, ministers welcomed the endorsement of the initiative on liberalization, facilitation and cooperation of environmental services, and instructed officials to develop a plan of action by the APEC Ministerial Meeting in 2015.
The Environmental Services Action Plan (ESAP) was included as a component of the ASCR in 2016 and under the leadership of Japan, key actions were implemented to achieve the objectives of the plan for 2016–2020. An interim review was performed in 2018 and a Final Review of ESAP will be presented in 2020.
Manufacturing-Related Services Action Plan (MSAP)
In the 2014 Leaders’ Declaration, APEC Leaders welcomed an initiative on manufacturing-related services in supply chains/value chains as a next generation trade and investment issue, and instructed officials to develop a plan of action in 2015.
Japan proposed for the creation of the Manufacturing-Related Services Action Plan (MSAP) with a view to increasing the availability and accessibility of services, through the liberalization and facilitation of manufacturing-related services, and to further deepening economic integration in the region. An interim review was achieved in 2018 and a Final Review of ESAP will be presented in 2020.
Support for the development of an APEC index to measure the regulatory environment of services trade in the APEC region.
Economies provided assistance for a pilot program, in which the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Services Trade Restrictiveness Index serves as the working basis to increase the number of APEC economies with indices to measure the regulatory environment in services. Four sectors are the focus of the pilot program:
- Computer services
- Logistics-storage warehousing
A technical group led by Korea assists with the development of the initiative. Established in May 2018, the technical group meets two times a year in the margins of GOS plenary meetings to follow up the collaboration in APEC towards the development of the APEC index to measure the regulatory environment of services trade in the region.
Non-Binding Principles for Domestic Regulation of the Services Sector
In November 2018, ministers endorsed the Non-Binding Principles for Domestic Regulation of the Services Sector. The GOS discusses and implements initiatives that seek to translate these principles into practical approaches and address different challenges of economies’ domestic regulations with respect to services sectors.
Major APEC publications on services are available here.
Mr Arjuna Nadaraja
Services Competitiveness, Professional Services and Mutual Recognition, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Mr Steven MILON Esparza