Discussion Papers

No.410 Harmonization of Trade in Services by APEC members

by ISHIDO Hikari

March 2013


This study maps out the degree of services trade liberalization by the APEC members toward achieving a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) and makes some comparative analyses. The study finds that the commitment level differs greatly between sensitive and less sensitive sectors, and that the commitment level under the ASEAN Framework Agreement (AFAS) package 8 is the highest among the four FTAs studied. It also finds that there are cross-country and sector-wide similarities in the pattern of service sector commitment under and across each of the FTAs; this implies that the shared domestic sensitivities can be overcome by an APEC-wide economic cooperation scheme for enhancing competitiveness (through, e.g., the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement or TPP).

Keywords: Trade in services, ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
JEL classification: F13, F15

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