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OECD Observer

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Services trade is an increasingly important part of world trade and is under the spotlight in the WTO talks at Cancún in September.

OECD countries account for the bulk of world services trade by destination – some three-quarters in fact – according to a new OECD publication, OECD Statistics on International Trade in Services: Partner Country Data.

Services exports, covering things like transport services, travel, other commercial services and government services, between OECD countries accounted for just over 80% of total OECD exports, with the EU the largest destination region at 46%, followed by NAFTA with 21% of service exports. The OECD Asia and Oceania countries mainly trade with Asia and Oceania (over 3% of world exports) and American (3% of world exports) countries.

When it comes to services trade by individual OECD countries, in the majority of cases the two main partners in 2001 for exports and imports of services were the European Union and the United States. But there are several exceptions. Finland’s main export partners, for example, are the EU and Russia, while for New Zealand the main partners are the US and Australia, and for Korea the main partners are the US and Japan. The EU’s main services trading partners are the US and Switzerland, while for the US they are the EU followed by Japan for exports and by Canada for imports.

©OECD Observer No 239, September 2003




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