he World Bank’s Services Trade Restrictions Database aims to facilitate dialogue about, and analysis of, services trade policies. The database provides comparable information on services trade policy measures for 103 countries, five sectors (telecommunications, finance, transportation, retail and professional services) and key modes of delivery.

Compared to the vast empirical literature on policies affecting trade in goods, the empirical analysis of services trade policy is still in its infancy. One major constraint has been inadequate data on policies affecting services trade. Our limited knowledge of the pattern of services policy contrasts with the importance of services. Today, some 80 percent of GDP in the United States and the European Union originates from services, and the proportion is well over 50 percent in most countries, industrial and developing alike.

The database collects—and makes publicly available—applied services trade policy information assembled in a comparable manner across an unprecedented range of countries, sectors, and modes of delivery. To date, surveys for 79 developing countries have been collected and comparable information was obtained for 24 OECD countries. While every effort has been made to represent services trade policies as accurately as possible, we do not view this database as a definitive source of information; instead, we hope it will facilitate sharing of information on services trade policy. Through feedback and dialogue, we hope to improve upon and update the policy information continually.

Acknowledgments. The database project was funded in part by the Governments of Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom through the Multidonor Trust Fund for Trade and Development, and by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Feedback. We would like to hear from you. If you would like to comment on the policy information for a country, please send an email to servicestrade@worldbank.org with your questions, feedback, and contact details.

Disclaimer. Any data, comments, summaries, findings, interpretations, or conclusions expressed on this website or expressed in documents available from this website are entirely those of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the views of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/World Bank and its affiliated organizations, or those of the Executive Directors of the World Bank or the Governments they represent, or any of the institutions that funded this project. We see this database as providing not a definitive picture of trade policy, but a first approximation which will through feedback from various interested parties evolve into a collectively created public good. Please send comments to the email listed above.

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