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Figures of the week: International trade in services

On May 28, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released a report detailing the growth in international trade in services in 2018. The report states that global services exports increased by 7.7 percent between 2017 and 2018, reaching a total of $5.8 trillion. As Figure 1 shows, Africa tied with Asia and Oceania for the highest growth rate in services exports, at 9.4 percent.
Figure 1: Annual growth rate of total services exports by region, 2018 (percentage)

Tarik Ulur Produksi dan Konsumsi Beras, KSI FP UNS Gelar Semnas Ketahanan Pangan
Wednesday November 28, 2018

UNS – Nasi sebagai makanan pokok masyarakat Indonesia menimbulkan dilema tarik ulur antara kebutuhan produksi dan konsumsi. Ketergantungan masyarakat Indonesia mengonsumsi nasi dan ketersediaan produksi beras untuk mencukupi kebutuhan tersebut tentunya memiliki dampak besar terhadap ketahanan pangan di Indonesia. Kelompok Studi Ilmiah Fakultas Pertanian Universitas Sebelas …

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Source: UNCTAD. 2019. “International Trade in Services 2018.”
Despite this impressive growth, the real value of Africa’s services exports remains low, accounting for only slightly over 2 percent of world services exports. As Figure 2 shows, world services trade is still dominated by developed economies in Europe and North America and by developing economies in Asia and Oceania. The composition of trade also differs by world region: The services sector in developed countries is dominated by financial, insurance, business, and intellectual property services, while African services exports are dominated by travel, which accounts for 42 percent of the continent’s total services exports.
Figure 2: Exports of services by region and service category, 2018 (billions of US$)

السبسي، مؤسّس الجمهورية التونسية الثانية، يترك خلفه إرثاً متضارباً
Tuesday July 30, 2019

By Sharan Grewalفارق الرئيس التونسي الباجي قائد السبسي الحياة اليوم عن عمر 92 سنة. وقد وضع الرئيس السبسي، أول رئيس مُنتخب ديمقراطياً، الأسس للجمهورية الثانية في البلاد وسط منطقة تخضّها الاضطرابات عقب ثورات الربيع العربي. بيد أنّ السبسي يترك خلفه إرثاً متضارباً. فهو شخصية استقطابية …

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Source: UNCTAD. 2019. “International Trade in Services 2018.”
Within Africa, the extent and composition of services exports also varies by region, as shown in Figure 3. North Africa leads the continent in value of services exports, at over $50 billion, while Central (Middle) Africa’s services exports total less than $5 billion. Travel accounts for the highest share of services exports in every region except West Africa, where other services—mostly composed of financial, insurance, and business services—play a more prominent role.
Figure 3: Services exports in Africa by region and service category, 2018 (billions of US$)

Animator Dad Illustrates His Kids’ Drawings and Everything is Awesome
Thursday December 06, 2018

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Source: UNCTAD. 2019. “International Trade in Services 2018.” [author-bio]
The entering into force of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) on May 30, 2019 presents a significant opportunity for African countries to continue increasing their trade in services. African Union members have agreed on a January 2020 deadline to submit negotiated market access offers for five priority services sectors: transport, communications, financial services, tourism, and business services. It will be key for countries to pay attention to the importance of services as the AfCFTA negotiations continue, as services will play a leading role in intra-African integration and the future of continental trade.[more-blog-posts]

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