Policy Brief: Services Trade Governance in the Digital Economy

Hildegunn Kyvik Nordås  – Senior Associate at CEP (Council on Economics Policies)

Services are at the frontier of the transformation to a digital economy. R&D as well as information and communication technology drive the transformation and make services more tradable across borders. The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) governing global services trade was designed in the 1980s, before the Internet became a commercial marketplace. This policy brief argues that the architecture of the GATS needs to be reformed to serve its purpose of setting and implementing the rules of global trade in services. It also draws lessons from recent free trade agreements and discusses the role of national governments and regulatory bodies, trade agreements, and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in governing services trade.

DOWNLOAD POLICY BRIEF 

Research Grants ROUND 4

TIISA is now offering Round 4 funding for Research Grants.

These grants provide €500 – €5000 to support research in the field of trade and investment in services, which interalia improves knowledge of or contributes new findings relevant to the process of European economic integration in services.

Closing date for applications: Monday 3rd May 2021

Eligible Applicants:
PhD Students or Potential PhD Qualifying Students (must be sponsored by a TIISA participant)
Post Doc and Early Career Researchers from TIISA participant institutions
TIISA Associates and their extended network (must be sponsored by a TIISA participant)

Targeted research themes include:

· Services trade and investment policy-making and implementation

· Digital aspects of the EU Services Directive and single market and the implications for harmonisation of domestic regulation across the EU Member States

· Best practice in managing global and regional mobility of services providers

· EU approach to Investor/State Dispute Settlement

· Regional integration of trade in services

· Best practice Principles for domestic regulation of services

· Intellectual property issues in services trade and investment flows

· Future governance of trade and investment in services and/or cross-border data flows

· Digitisation of services, including in response to the Covid-19 pandemic

· Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on global and EU trade in services

· Digital trade and e-commerce

· This grant scheme is designed to help establish cross-economy collaborative and institutional networks including with junior scholars and facilitate the transfer of research expertise and mentoring.

It is oriented to producing high-quality research outputs, develop enduring research connections, and facilitate the development of meaningful links between people and institutions with mutual research interests in the fields of trade and investment in services and EU economic integration studies. Research outcomes are expected to be published in edited volumes or peer-reviewed journals as well as the TIISA Working Paper series (see http://www.tiisa.org) and circulated to the broader public through the Jean Monnet TIISA Network websites.

Research-Grant-Application-Round 4.pdf

Young Scholars – Paper Award Round 3

TIISA is now offering Round 3 funding for Young Scholars Paper Award.

Submissions due no later than Friday 30th July 2021

Eligible candidates
PhD and PhD-equivalent Students, Young Professionals and Early Career Researchers

Eligibility

  • The paper must address issues related to international trade and investment in services. Where possible, it is anticipated that the issues will have relevance to the process of economic integration in services and to be relevant to current issues in the European Union.
  • The author(s) of the paper should possess or be engaged in the process of gaining a PhD or PhD-equivalent degree, be a young professional or a researcher at an early stage of their career. Applicants will be asked to provide a statement from their supervisor or a senior colleague to establish that this condition is met.
  • In the case of co-authored papers, this requirement shall apply to at least one author.
  • To be considered for the award, essays cannot exceed 10,000 words.

Information for applicants

  • The topic of the paper will have some relevance for or application to the process of economic integration in services, including in the European Union.
  • The Award is offered once every six months.
  • Papers submitted must not yet be published in a formal manner (for example, in a book or journal, including an online journal), nor yet submitted for publication. The winning papers must be available to be published as a TIISA Discussion Paper or TIISA Working Paper on www.tiisa.org
  • The winner will receive a certificate and commendation to the effect that they are winner of the award. The winner will be asked to note this award when the paper is published in any subsequent format.
  • The winner will also receive a payment of Euros 5,000. In the case of a co-authored paper, the award will be equally divided among the authors.
  • In addition,
    • a second runner-up award may be granted of Euros 3,000 and
    • a third award may be granted of Euros 2,000.

Submissions

Submissions should include as separate attachments in PDF format:

  1. The written paper
  2. The CV of the author(s), specifying (i) date of birth of the author[s] (ii) current affiliation(s), (iii) where relevant the academic institution awarding the PhD, (iv) where relevant the year (or the expected year) of the PhD.
  3. Supporting letter from a supervisor or senior colleague.
  4. Email your application form to sarah.warner.

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FORM

Putting the comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) into perspective: Five Key Points

Opinion Piece by Bryan Mercurio is Simon F.S. Li Professor of Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

On 30 December 2020, the European Union (EU) and China ‘in principle’ concluded negotiations on a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) .
The European Commission published the text of the CAI on 22 January 2021. The agreement has been welcomed by the business community but criticised by civil society and the United States (US).

This brief article does not attempt to analyse the entirety of the agreement but instead makes five points.

1) The CAI is a unique agreement (that creates unique challenges)

2) The agreement will not dramatically change the landscape for European investors and service providers

3) Sustainable development provisions will not change the landscape in China, nor should they be expected to do so

4) China benefits from the CAI in subtle ways

5) Cooperation or confrontation with the US?

Read FULL Op-Ed click here

Photo credit: Li Yang on Unsplash

TIISA Young Scholar Paper Award – Round 2

The TIISA Network is now offering Round 2 of the Young Scholar Paper Awards.

ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES:

PhD and PhD-equivalent Students, Young Professionals and Early Career Researchers

ELIGIBILITY:

  • The paper must address issues related to international trade and investment in services.  Where possible, it is anticipated that the issues will have relevance to the process of economic integration in services and to be relevant to current issues in the European Union.
  • The author(s) of the paper should possess or be engaged in the process of gaining a PhD or PhD-equivalent degree, be a young professional or a researcher at an early stage of their career.  Applicants will be asked to provide a statement from their supervisor or a senior colleague to establish that this condition is met.
  • In the case of co-authored papers, this requirement shall apply to at least one author.
  • To be considered for the award, essays cannot exceed 10,000 words.

INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS:

  • The topic of the paper will have some relevance for or application to the process of economic integration in services, including in the European Union.
  • Papers submitted must not yet be published in a formal manner (for example, in a book or journal, including an online journal), nor yet submitted for publication.  The winning papers must be available to be published as a TIISA Discussion Paper or TIISA Working Paper on tiisa.org
  • The winner will receive a certificate and commendation to the effect that they are winner of the award.  The winner will be asked to note this award when the paper is published in any subsequent format.
  • The winner will also receive a payment of Euros 5,000. In the case of a co-authored paper, the award will be equally divided among the authors.
    • In addition,
      a second runner-up award may be granted of Euros 3,000
      a third award may be granted of Euros 2,000.

SUBMISSIONS:

Submissions should include as separate attachments in PDF format:

  1. The written paper
  2. The CV of the author(s), specifying (i) date of birth of the author[s] (ii) current affiliation(s), (iii) where relevant the academic institution awarding the PhD, (iv) where relevant the year (or the expected year) of the PhD.
  3. Supporting letter from a supervisor or senior colleague.
  4. Email your application form to sarah.warner@adelaide.edu.au.

DOWNLOAD APPLICANTS INFORMATION

TIISA 2020 PhD Workshop

Leading services experts from across the globe, along with Post Graduate students worldwide came together in TIISA’s 2020 first online PhD Workshop. Discussions and presentations in relation to the impact of “servicification” available below.

Co-hosted with University of International Business and Economics’ China Institute for WTO Studies and The University of Adelaide’s Institute for international Trade (IIT)

Day 1: PhD Workshop and presentations

Harry Wardana – Institute for International Trade, The University of Adelaide
Reversal of trade liberalization and emerging market firms’ exports
VIEW PRESENTATION 

Hongxu Yang – Central University of Finance and Economics, China
Servicification of Manufacturing Firms: Evidence from China
VIEW PRESENTATION  

Nicholas Frank – Australian National University
The political economy of PTA services-related governance: a network approach
VIEW PRESENTATION 

Day 2: Online Teaching Masterclass

The launch of “Online Teaching Masterclasses” lead by Professor Jane Drake-Brockman – Institute for International Trade, The University of Adelaide.
VIEW PRESENTATION 

TIISA 2020 Conference: “Servicification”

TIISA 2020 Conference was held 9 November – 13 November. Joined online by attendees in India, Philippines, New Zealand, Kenya, Europe and more! 

Co-hosted with University of International Business and Economics’ China Institute for WTO Studies and The University of Adelaide’s Institute for international Trade (IIT)

Working together, IIT and UIBE have provided an accessible way for the Jean Monnet Network on Trade & Investment in Services Associates to come together as a Research Network to conduct an online Annual Conference format.

Joined by leading experts from across the globe, presentations, interactive discussions on the impact of “servicification” and webinar recordings available below:

Day 1 Monday 9 November : Servicification: Drivers and Trends 
Click HERE to watch webinar

Day 2 Tuesday 10 November : Servicification: Current Issues and Case Studies
Click HERE to watch webinar

Day 3 Thursday 12 November: Servicification: Digitalisation of Services
Click HERE to watch Nigel Cory’s video presentation
Click HERE to view Nigel Cory’s ppt presentation 

Day 4 Friday 13 November: Servicification: Implications for International Trade Governance
Click HERE to watch webinar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geneva Trade Week – 29 September 2020

On 29 September, 2020 The Jean Monnet Network – Trade & Investment in Services Associates (TIISA) organised Session 9 in the Digital Trade stream. Moderated by Jane Drake-Brockman, IIT, speakers were Hildegunn Kyvik-Nordas NUPI and Orebro University, Pascal Kerneis, European Services Forum, Bryan Mercurio, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Neha Mishra, National University of Singapore.

Clearly neither domestic policy settings nor the rules-based trading system have kept up with the global digital transformation underway. Presentations therefore highlighted critical issues on how policymakers and regulators can encourage both competition and innovation by facilitating trade in digitalised services and free flow of data.

Discussion focussed on exploring the opportunities from getting the regulatory regimes for digital trade right and the dangers in getting them wrong.

Focussing on telecommunications, Hildegunn Nordas observed that digital markets are susceptible to competition problems and may need help from regulators. But regulation sometimes interferes with innovation. Best practice regulation will depend on both technology and on market structure so a one size approach will not fit all. She concluded the WTO will need to work with other organisations such as the ITU and WIPO to establish a governance framework for e-commerce.

Focussing on the need for an outcome in the JSI on E Commerce in the WTO, Pascal Kerneis drew on recent FTA experience on the part of many of the major players in the JSI to suggest that compromises should be able to be found in order to deliver a set of WTO rules on E Commerce, covering the key issues around digital trust, regulatory disciplines on digitally-enabled services, customs duties on electronic transactions, handling of “digital products”, protection of Intellectual property and cross-border data flows.

Bryan Mercurio stressed the need for good regulatory governance to start at home and the implications for regional and international regulatory cooperation. Drawing on examples from Hong Kong, he explored the domestic imperatives of establishing regulatory regimes to facilitate digital transformation, enabling opportunities that come from the cross-border flow of data while minimising negative externalities. Given the reality that numerous WTO members are still developing their regulations and policies, and given the differing approaches already being codified in FTAs on the part of eg United States, European Union and China, doubts arise on the extent to which international efforts can lead in norm setting – or are more likely to be successful in codifying existing practices and common norms.

Neha Mishra covered the interface between trade law and cybersecurity. She argued that trade and cybersecurity can share a symbiotic relationship but when countries impose restrictive unilateral cybersecurity laws, regulations, policies, the economic costs to digital trade are very high. Trade Agreements do have an impact on cybersecurity regulatory frameworks, including to check protectionism. She called for more international regulatory cooperation in trade institutions, eg on interoperability of data regulations and encouraging transparent, open, globally competitive and market-driven cybersecurity standards and best practices.

Some concern was expressed during the discussion about the exceptions clauses being negotiated at bilateral level, for multiple public policy reasons, including national security, simultaneous with new disciplines to facilitate cross-border data flows. The panelists agreed on the urgent need for more intensive efforts in the WTO negotiations.

Watch Session 9 in the video below

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6nG3vtp0V4&feature=youtu.be

TIISA Young Scholar Award – Announcement of Prize Winners

TIISA Network recently offered PhD and PhD-equivalent Students, Young Professionals and Early Career Researchers the opportunity to submit a policy paper on any topic related to International Trade and Investment in Services. Where possible, the policy paper will have relevance to the process of economic integration in services, and to be relevant to current issues in the European Union.

Prize money was awarded, First Prize 5,000 euro and Runner Up 3,000 euro.

A TIISA Selection Panel was formed, which comprised of TIISA Network partners

Hein Roelfsema Associate Professor International Economics, Utrecht University
Joseph Francois Professor of Economics World Trade Institute, University of Bern
Xinquan Tu Professor, China Institute for WTO Studies, University of International Business & Economics
Christopher Findlay Professor Emeritus, University of Adelaide

First Prize Awarded “Services Liberalisation and Product Mix Adjustment”
School of International Trade & Economics Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing China
(Co-authors)

  • Zhuoran Bai
  • Shuang Meng,
  • Zhuang Miao
  • Yan Zhang

Supervisor: Pei He, Professor School of International Trade and Economics, CUFE Beijing China

Runner-up Prize Awarded “Corresponding Banking Relationships and EU-African Services Trade Flows”
(co-authors)

  • Solomon Abayomi Olakojo, University of Ibadan, Ibadan Nigeria
  • Olaronke Toyin Onanuga, Covenant University, Nigeria

Supervisors:
Abiodun 0. Folawewo, Professor Macroeconomic, Labour & Development Economics University of Ibadan, Ibadan Nigeria
Evans S. Osabuohien, Professor of Economics Covenant University Nigeria