Developing country service exporters

Do developing country service exporters exist? There has been a commonly-held myth that services are only exported from developed economies. In part this misperception has been due to inadequate services trade statistics in many developing countries. In part it has stemmed from the fact that much of the service exporting from developing countries is part of South-South trade, which is overlooked by developed economies and, indeed, by development agencies located in those economies.

Studies of services firms in 58 developing countries and 16 least developed countries indicate that those firms are virtually all exporters, in part because their domestic markets are too small to support growth and in part because of the presence of foreign companies and non-profits to whom they export through Mode 2. On average, these firms export at least 30 different services to at least 25 different trading partners. Most of this export activity is occurring outside of the awareness of national trade promotion agencies or international donor organizations, which means that any services trade negotiations are being conducted without accurate input on domestic capacity and the impact on domestic service exporters.

The following are a few of the articles prepared by Dr. Riddle for various international fora:

Services Export Capacity in Developing Countries (for the World Trade Organization Symposium on Assessment of Trade in Services, 2002)
Issues Regarding Small Service Suppliers (for the CARICOM Negotiating Machinery, 2002)