Trade in Services in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Overview of Trends, Costs, and Policies

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Nov 2021
Trade in services is becoming increasingly relevant. Changing technologies have transformed the landscape, making international trade possible in sectors that were once considered nontradable. But the lack of consistent, reliable data prevents analysts from fully understanding and accurately describing trade in services. Despite this limitation, this report aims to outline Latin America and the Caribbeans competitiveness in global services markets. It concludes that the region still focuses on traditional sectors like travel and transportation, despite some green shoots in nontraditional services, and that costs remain high in comparison with other regions of the world. Furthermore, the regulatory framework in the region is still weak, and although several modern trade agreements are already in place, there is still room for improvement. Sound policies to further develop trade in services and boost competitiveness in nontraditional sectors such as computer or business services would help the region to diversify its export baskets and build trade resilience.