Conference: ‘Reforming Services for Inclusive and Sustainable Development of Asia and the Pacific’

Anushka Wijesinha, Research Officer, IPS. participated in a conference on ‘Reforming Services for Inclusive and Sustainable Development of Asia and the Pacific’ organized jointly by ARTNeT of UNESCAP and the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), in Bali, Indonesia, during 11-12th October 2010.

The conference discussed key issues related to trade in services, including the role of services in the production structure, trade, and development. The discussions also focused on the need to develop appropriate domestic regulatory frameworks and strengthening the domestic service sub-sectors in preparing for greater private investment in the sector. Technical sessions also focused on the policy and poverty implications of the offshored-services industry, as well as on public sector services and their role in development. Several country case studies were also discussed, including Japan’s service sector FDI in ASEAN, Turkey’s seaport services liberalization, and China’s distribution and logistics services liberalization.

The deliberations were relevant to the Sri Lankan context, in order to draw lessons learnt and best practices, at a time when the service sector in the economy is growing rapidly, and domestic and foreign investment in services industries like tourism, IT, and logistics are gaining momentum