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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: October 2022


Contacts

Thomas FINE (Mr)
GOS Convenor

Director 
Services and Investment 
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Steven MILON Esparza (Mr)
Program Director

Key Initiatives

APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap (ASCR)

The GOS is responsible for monitoring progress under the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap, and the related APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap Implementation Plan (2016-2025), and is tasked to inform Senior Officials and Ministers of this progress. The key objective of the ASCR is to enable concrete action towards agreed targets both at the economy and regional level to promote growth and job creation across APEC economies by 2025. 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

 

A Mid-term Review of the ASCR was conducted by the APEC Policy Support Unit in 2021 to ensure that APEC-wide and individual actions are in place to complete achievement of the objectives of the Roadmap by 2025. In addition, a Summary Report of the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap Mid-Term Review was welcomed by ministers at the 2021 APEC Ministerial Meeting.

A cross-fora and industry dialogue focused on the progress of the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap (ASCR) will be held annually for the remainder of the ASCR’s implementation, until 2025.

Final Push in Services

In 2019, a “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 – Canada
  • Facilitating talent mobility through the recognition of qualifications and skills – Australia
  • Environmental services  – New Zealand
  • Manufacturing-related Services  – Malaysia

 

To date, the champion economies help coordinate work in these five work streams, which are also aligned with the APEC-wide actions of the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap (ASCR).

 

Logistics-Related Services (Services Supporting Movement of Essential Goods)

In support of the 2021 MRT Statement on Services to Support the Movement of Essential Goods, the GOS works to enhance coordination, efficiency, and transparency in logistics services to remove unnecessary barriers to trade in services. Through this work, the GOS aims to ensure the smooth and continued operation of the logistics networks that serve as the backbone of global supply chains.

 

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 included.

The pilot program concluded in 2020 and a dedicated website was created. As of 2022, Canada is leading the work that has expanded the scope of services sectors and economies covered in the pilot APEC Index to 16 economies in 22 services sectors, with ongoing work to include other economies. 

Joint GOS-Economic Committee Activity on Competitiveness and Structural Reform

In 2021, the ASCR mid-term review prioritized making services regulation and policy reform in favor of openness a central focus of APEC’s structural reform agenda. In support of this recommendation, and to promote synergies between services and structural reform initiatives across APEC, joint work is being undertaken by the GOS and the Economic Committee (EC), with additional potential input from other APEC fora.

Other activity areas

  • Digitally enabled services
  • Sustainable and inclusive growth
  • Promoting opportunities for women in services

Major APEC publications on services are available here

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