Edited by Pierre Sauvé and Anirudh Shingal
Chapter 5: Services trade in the European Union: internal and external approaches to market opening
The European Union is the most important global player in international services trade today. The period since the 1990s has seen a constant rise in the service sector of the EU economy. Services play a major role in EU growth, jobs and exports, accounting for over 70% of Europe's GDP and a similar proportion of aggregate employment. Cross-border services trade represent 25% of the EU's global trade, a level some 20% above the world average. The expansion of EU services trade has in recent decades exceeded service output growth by a sizeable margin. An important defining characteristic of services trade is the immediacy and proximity of the relationship it entails between the provider and the recipient (consumer) in many transactions. A derivative feature of services is that they are provided via various modes of supply which can trigger and indeed often require the mobility of production factors (capital and labour).
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