Leveraging Services for Employment, Growth and Equity: Policy Scan and Gap Analysis: Government Initiatives to Promote Trade in Services

by MAYER, M.J., 2005
Research Report, Employment Growth & Development Initiative, Human Sciences Research Council

Services account for more than 70% of output and employment in the South African economy. Strategies are needed to ensure services contribute to dynamism in the economy. Stimulating trade in services is one means to enhance service industry contribution to growth. In this paper, Mayer reviews the South African policy environment for services trade and competitiveness, and identifies gaps therein. Three main areas of activity were investigated: regulation, industry-level interventions to promote growth in specific sectors, and international trade negotiations. The overarching finding of this policy scan is that efforts to promote the competitiveness of services are fragmented across specific sectors and departments, with limited interdepartmental cooperation. Critically, the institutional capacity to drive these industries is either absent or inadequate, including in the key department tasked with promoting trade – the dti.