Structural Reform and Services

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Structural Reform and Services

Publication Number


Published Date

June 2017

Type of Publication


Publications Under

APEC Secretariat, APEC Policy Support Unit





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This paper first appears in the 2016 APEC Economic Policy Report. It aims to contribute to greater understanding of service sector reforms, the benefits they bring and the implementation and execution challenges they give rise to. It does so by drawing on the extant research literature and on five studies on services reforms experiences prepared for the APEC Economic Committee (in response to instructions from Ministers to continue the agenda on structural reform and services, particularly its link to inclusive growth), as well as four studies prepared for the Market Access Group and the Group on Services. The case studies provide in-depth analysis of the economic impact of specific services reforms in APEC economies. They illustrate the importance of a focus on services to enhance inclusion while at the same time generating growth in real incomes and improving welfare of citizens. Most of the studies cite positive impacts, but more importantly, provide useful lessons from the various reform experiences. Not the least of these lessons is that structural reforms are a ‘continuous process’ that require regular adjustment of efforts to meet policy goals. Structural reform is not a once-and-for-all process but rather continued learning-by-doing.