• January 27, 2020
  • Report

APEC economies are committed to creating a policy and regulatory environment conducive to services markets. The services sector plays a vital role in the world economy, and is a significant driver of economic growth and poverty reduction. However, barriers to services trade are often found in domestic regulations, commonly referred to as ‘behind the border measures.’ These affect the entry and operations of both domestic and foreign services suppliers and can have economy-wide impacts.

A key element for liberalizing trade in services is increased regulatory transparency. The improvement of regulatory transparency in the services sector is a priority element for facilitating trade and investment in the APEC region. This is important not only to prevent unnecessary barriers to trade, but also to improve compliance, reduce unpredictability, improve economic efficiency, and reduce trade costs.

This study examines the process of developing domestic regulations, focusing on the transparency provisions of APEC’s Non-Binding Principles for Domestic Regulation of the Services Sector: publishing and making information available, advanced notice and opportunity to comment, and establishment of enquiry points.

The study provides:

• An overview of domestic transparency practices and frameworks in place in APEC economies,
• Analysis of transparency and predictability principles in select recent trade agreements and initiatives, and
• Findings on the trends, challenges/gaps, and best practices implemented in the region.

This study is authored by Nathan and funded by USAID and U.S. Department of State as part of the US-Support for Economic Growth in Asia (US-SEGA) project.

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