Australian Services Roundtable, Barbados Services Coalition, Canadian Services Coalition, European Services Forum, CSI (US), Hong Kong Coalition of Services Industries, Jamaican Coalition of Services Industries, Japan Services Network, NASSCOM, Taiwan Coalition of Services Industries, International Financial Services London
An unprecedented gathering of over 400 services business, government and other leaders from all over the world took place in Washington over the last two days, with six Trade Ministers, from the United States, European Commission, Australia, India, Columbia and Panama, as well as the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Director-General of the WTO.
All agreed on the importance of fighting protectionism and allowing trade to bring a multiplier effect to the emerging economic recovery. All agreed that services are fundamental enablers of economy-wide productivity and drivers of economic growth, employment and development. The time has come to recognize this interconnectedness and to refocus the global trade agenda so that new job opportunities in services can provide the necessary platform for sustained economic expansion.
We call on our governments to draw on the energy of the G20 to overcome difficulties and speed progress in the WTO. G20 Leaders provided a forceful lead in Pittsburgh in September, recognizing that ambitious and balanced completion of the Doha Development Agenda, during 2010 at the latest, is an essential prerequisite in underpinning and sustaining any significant revival of world trade. We urge our governments to reengage with a commensurate sense of urgency exploring all options to boost confidence and move forward together on all three market access pillars towards a settlement that will achieve positive growth in world trade.
In services, this will require rapid delivery of additional and improved market access offers as well as capturing all the offers signaled at the Services Signaling Conference last July. We urge Trade Ministers to ensure that the Doha outcome generates more opportunities for doing international business and hence creating new jobs - and contributes to a more certain, transparent, pro-competitive, more seamless international regulatory environment.
Many of the tasks ahead on services will be ongoing beyond the successful conclusion of the Doha round. We therefore call on our governments to commit themselves to work closely with us to explore creative new approaches, including building a critical mass of support for a new generation of services negotiations which combine regulatory reform as well as trade and investment liberalization. Our gathering in Washington proved to be a historic opportunity for services businesses everywhere to signal their determination to work together as a group and with our political leaders to enrich the policy debate and to shed light on creative ways forward to a new trade era that fully embraces services.
Services constitute two-thirds of the world economy and the fastest growing component of world trade. They are core drivers of economic growth, employment and development in every part of the world. For more than a decade, services have been the source of all net global job growth and the main source of productivity growth in the major global economies. Trans-border services businesses are the key to creating new economic activity throughout the developing world, with profound future global employment and development consequences. The services sector is by far the most heavily protected sector globally, burdened with the highest degrees of entrenched government intervention. The global services playing field is rough terrain. The economic and developmental benefits of liberalizing services are estimated to far exceed the gains from liberalization in other sectors.