A major step towards a whole-of-government national services strategy
ASR members have been closely consulted in the preparation of the OECD’s groundbreaking 2018 study into the Australian services sector, Australian Services Trade in the Global Economy. This new, comprehensive publication highlights the importance of co-ordinated domestic policy action, priorities for promoting behind-the-border regulatory reforms in strategic international markets, and the benefits of an ambitious bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral trade policy agenda that contributes to rules-based certainty and predictability in services trade globally.
“The cluster of policy and regulatory reforms recommended by the OECD study reinforce 18 years of public advocacy on the part of ASR and help build momentum towards a whole-of-government national services strategy,” said ASR Board Chair Jane-Drake Brockman.
Services account for more than 80 per cent of both GDP and employment, but only around a quarter of total Australian exports, as measured by the balance-of-payments. When measured in value-added terms, services are 46 per cent of Australia’s total exports, which still lags behind the average for other OECD countries.
The OECD has found Australians benefit from a domestic regulatory environment that is more open, efficient and pro-competitive than many other countries. Australia’s domestic regulatory regime is more liberal than average in 21 of the 22 services sectors measured by the OECD Services Trade Restrictiveness Index.
The study nevertheless suggests potential directions for action by government and business to help improve Australia’s international competitiveness and export performance in services.
Click here to read a copy of Australian Services Trade in the Global Economy. ASR’s media release on the publication of the report may be read here.
In brief: the key findings
The Head of the OECD Trade in Services Division, John Drummond, is visiting Australia to promote the report’s findings. The OECD has also produced a trade policy brief that contains the essentials of Australian Services Trade in the Global Economy. In summary, the brief states that:
- Australia’s services industries are key drivers of economic growth and competitiveness.
- Strategic national reforms can boost Australia’s services trade competitiveness
- Ambitious services trade policy can transform bottlenecks into gateways
The trade policy brief may be downloaded in pdf form by clicking here.
Sub-sector specific recommendations
In preparation for a national services strategy, ASR has prepared sub-sectoral extracts from Australian Services Trade in the Global Economy. Each extract also contains the whole-of-report executive summary and recommendations.
Services Export Action Group
ASR has convened two services sub-sectoral workshops to date in 2018, as part of an industry-led Services Export Action Group, with more to come for each sub-sector. At each of these workshops recommendations were made toward an industry-led action plan on services competitiveness. Information and materials from each workshop may be found below.
Health Services Exports
A synopsis of the event, plus summary and recommendations may be downloaded here.