The rise of global supply chains and new business models has given services—such as tourism, financial intermediation, communications and transportation—even more prominence and strategic importance, with strong implications for social welfare and quality of life. The service sector has seen substantial growth in recent years, with services value-added reaching more than 70 percent of world GDP in 2014.
Egypt’s Sustainable Development Startegy announced in the March 2015 Egypt Economic Development Conference envisions to increase the contribution of services to GDP from 50 percent to the world average. This requires a paradigm shift in the role of the state from being a service provider to an efficient regulator as well as changes in a wide range of policies and regulations that affect investment, competition, consumer protection, and the enviroment.
Drawing on extensive analytical research undertaken by ECES in this respect, this roundtable addressed three main questions:
1- What are the main regulatory and institutional reforms needed for efficient services?
2- How to enhance competition in services markets through trade in services liberalization?
3- Would trade liberalization improve access to efficient and affordable services, helping achieve efficiency and social equity?