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 2021
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.
- GOS is responsible for monitoring progress under each APEC-wide initiative under the Roadmap to inform of progress to Senior Officials and Ministers.
- A mid-term review of the Roadmap is being undertaken by the Policy Support Unit in 2021 to report findings and recommendations to the 2021 APEC Ministerial Meeting. The review will seek to ensure that APEC-wide and individual actions are in place to complete achievement of 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, led by 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: TBD
- 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 the area and report on progress on how the focus area is 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 in 2016–2020. An interim review was achieved in 2018 and a Final Review of ESAP was prepared in 2020.
Manufacturing-Related Services Action Plan (MSAP)
In 2014 Leaders’ Declaration, APEC Leaders welcomed the 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 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 MSAP was presented in 2020.
Pilot Program for the development of an APEC Index to measure the regulatory environment of services trade in the APEC region.
A pilot program was implemented in collaboration with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to develop an index to measure the regulatory environment in services in the APEC region. Four sectors from four volunteer economies were focused: Distribution; Computer Services; Telecommunications; and Logistics-Storage Warehousing.
A Technical Group led by Korea assisted with the implementation of the pilot program with a view to develop an APEC Index to measure the regulatory environment of services trade in the region. The pilot program concluded in 2020. A dedicated website was created for this purpose and is accessible on https://apecservicesindex.org/
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
- APEC Inventory of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) for Professional Qualifications
- Pilot APEC Index on Measuring the Regulatory Environment of Services Trade
- APEC Engineer Databank
- APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap (ASCR) Baseline Indicators
- Services and the Food System
- Structural Reform and Services
- APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap (2016-2025)
Mr Arjuna Nadaraja
Services Competitiveness, Professional Services and Mutual Recognition, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Mr Steven MILON Esparza