Volume 48 (2014) / Issue 1
The paper focuses on the issue of international cross-border trade in services. It argues that its current understanding may be quite misleading because the concept of service is not accurately delineated and because available data are not appropriately understood. First, bearing in mind Hill's (1999) service definition, the paper discusses the extent of service-producing activities. It stresses that 'services' producing 'knowledge capturing products' should be recognized as genuine goods-producing activities. It also asserts that cross-border trade in genuine services is still scarce, even if Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have made it easier in some cases. Second, the paper explains that the picture of trade in services, which the Balance of Payments (BOP) displays, although improving, is nevertheless quite heterogeneous and blurring. Contrary to a common view, the BOP does not provide accurate information about trade of service industries. Moreover, still unfamiliar is the fact that, for several significant services, service industries are not the major actual international service traders.
All rights reserved