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Institute for International Integration Studies IIIS Discussion Paper - page 37 / 41





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Appendix: Data Sources

Imports of Services

The primary data source employed in this paper is the OECD’s statistics on international trade in services (OECD, 2003), assembled by the OECD with assistance from Eurostat. The dataset provides data on exports and imports of services between twenty-seven OECD countries and up to fifty-five non-OECD partner countries for three years (1999- 2001). The collection of the data is based on Manual on Statistics of International Trade in Services guidelines which extends the International Monetary Fund’s balance of payments methodology to account more fully for service transactions.

Total services trade flows are further disaggregated into transport services, travel services, other commercial services and government services. The use of FDI as a vehicle for the provision of services in foreign countries is not considered in this paper. In terms of the GATS modes of supply of services, the most relevant to services trade data in OECD (2003) are modes 1 and 2 (cross border supply and consumption abroad). The database provides little coverage of commercial presence and the presence of natural persons (modes 3 and 4).

Transport services cover air, sea, land, internal waterway and pipeline transport services. Trade in these services involves their provision by suppliers from one country to customers in another. The products transported include passengers, freight (goods) and some ancillary services provided in terminals and ports. Transport accounts for approximately 10 per cent of the total value of services imports in the OECD database.

Also accounting for 10 per cent of total services imports, travel services are goods and services purchased by travellers whilst abroad. The destination country is considered the exporter of the service, the home country of the traveller is the importer. The most common products purchased are accommodation, food, entertainment and transport within the country and any goods taken out of the country by the traveller. Business and personal travellers are both included, provided their visit lasts less than one year. For business travellers, purchases made on behalf of their companies are excluded.

Trade in government services is quite limited (less than 1 per cent of total services imports). This category covers government purchases not included elsewhere such as transactions by embassies or other government agencies based abroad and general purchases of services by government institutions.

The largest component of total services imports are commercial services (80 per cent in the OECD database). This cover a wide range of products not included in the above categories (communications, construction, insurance, intermediary and auxiliary financial, computer and IT, royalties, recreational and other business services) supplied to customers in another country. In particular, other business services is an extremely broad category that includes, amongst other items, advertising, R&D services, legal and other technical services. In some cases, the goods imported into a country for use on a specific project are also included in services rather than goods trade (e.g., materials for use in construction).

In total there are over two thousand bilateral pairs of countries in the database, however many fail to report trade with some, or even all in some cases, of their partners. As some


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