Services trade Liberalisation and the Role of the Services Sector in South African Development

"The purpose of this paper is to explore the implications of services trade liberalisation for employment creation and industrial policy goals in South Africa. It begins by critically examining the debate surrounding the role of the services sector in development, with a particular focus on its role in facilitating industrialisation. It then considers the implications of increased trade in services and the growing pressure on developing countries to liberalise their services trade in light of both the economic and social roles of the services sector. The paper highlights South Africa’s GATS and other commitments in the services field, with reference to the regional–bilateral versus multilateral liberalisation debate. The final section outlines research needed on the services sector in light of South Africa’s employment creation and industrial policy goals. The aim is to provide a review that will facilitate more in-depth analysis exploring the strategic balance between services sectors to develop domestically, regionally or to open multilaterally, taking account of South Africa’s international obligations and national development objectives."