This page is intended to provide an overview of and access to available data on trade in services. It covers three different categories of data:
Data in all three categories are divided into general sources of information, covering more than one service sector, and sector-specific sources of information. Researchers interested in a particular sector may first want to explore the sector specific sources, as these often provide the most detailed data available.
Measures Affecting Trade in Services
General Sources of Information
- WTO Document Dissemination Facility
(use document symbols: GATS/SC and GATS/EL
Commitments made under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) contain useful information on WTO member countries’ measures affecting services trade. Note, however, that actual policies may diverge significantly from what countries committed under the GATS. For example, if a country has not scheduled a particular service sector, this does not imply that the provision of services from foreign firms is prohibited. The definition of services sectors follows the GATS services sectoral classification list (pdf - 17k).
- WTO Trade Policy Reviews
The WTO Trade Policy Reviews (TPRs) present the trade regime of individual WTO member states, as reflected in their legal framework and regulatory measures. Countries become subject to the TPR mechanism at fixed time intervals, depending on their weight in world trade. Although the information provided refers mainly to the year at which the review is undertaken, previous developments and events are sometimes also described. With regard to services industries, TPRs cover in principle all sectors, but telecommunication, financial and transport services typically receive the widest coverage. (Purchase information)
APEC Individual Action Plan Submissions
Individual Action Plans (IAPs) describe commitments for liberalization made by member states of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. They provide information on past policy reforms and the current state of trade-affecting measures. IAPs contain useful information on many services sectors, including targets for future policy reforms.
- EU Market Access Sectoral and Trade Barriers Database
The European Union Market Access database provides information on barriers to trade in various services sectors, including communication, construction, business services, transport, distribution, financial, tourism and travel. For many sectors, the information provided is very limited, but the database is updated frequently and coverage may thus expand in the future.
- USTR National Trade Estimate Reports on Foreign Trade Barriers
The annual “National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers” compiled by the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) describes trade barriers, as they are of interest to US exporters. However, the coverage of services sector is limited and the information provided is often not comprehensive.
- United States International Trade Commission Publications
(search for “trade in services”)
The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) has published various reports on the U.S. and trading partners’ services regime. The series “General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS): Examination of U.S. Trading Partners’ Schedules of Commitments,” evaluates services commitments under the WTO, as they are perceived by the U.S. private sector.
- WTO Questionnaire on Maritime Transport Services
(use document symbol: S/NGMTS/W/2)
In 1994, the WTO Negotiating Group on Maritime Transport Services initiated a survey of member government’s market and regulatory structures applying to the maritime transport services sector. The responses to the survey questionnaire provide detailed descriptions of existing maritime policies and regulations. The structure of the questionnaire follows the GATS classification of sub-sectors and restrictive measures.
- GATS Conditional Offers on Maritime Transport Services
(use document symbol S/NGMTS/W)
The GATS Conditional Offers on Maritime Transport Services were submitted to the WTO Negotiating Group on Maritime Transport Services. They do not represent binding commitments, as the sector-specific negotiations did not reach a successful conclusion. Nonetheless, these offers contain useful indications of actual restrictions applied and outline possible areas of future liberalization.
- ITU T-REG On-line
T-REG On-line is an information service on regulatory issues developed and maintained by the International Telecommunications Union. The website contains detailed information on the ownership status of telecom operators, legislation, the level of competition in various market segments, and regulatory responsibilities. The publication series “Trends in Telecommunications Reform” can be purchased on-line and contains additional information, which is not freely downloadable from the website.
Trade and Investment Flows
General Sources of Information
- IMF Balance of Payments Statistics
The IMF Balance of Payments (BOP) Statistics are the only comprehensive source of information on trade in services available on a global basis. They reproduce statistics on economic transactions between residents and non-residents, as reported by central banks and national statistical offices of 182 IMF Members. The current classification of services transactions (pdf - 17k) follows the 5th edition of the IMF Balance of Payments Manual. These BOP statistics on services cover predominantly trade supplied cross border or through the movements of consumers. Additional information on the movement of capital (foreign direct investment flows) and labor (compensation of employees, workers’ remittances) is available in the balance of payments, but these statistics related to international transactions in both the goods and services sectors. No data available on-line, however, there is a CD-ROM available for purchase.
- OECD Statistics on International Trade in Services
(type "OECD Statistics in International Trade in Services" in the "Quick Search" box on the right)
This joint OECD-EUROSTAT publication provides statistical data on international trade in services for thirty countries as well as definitions and methodological notes. The data is supplied and published according to the IMF Fifth Manual of the Balance of Payments and the OECD-EUROSTAT Classification of Trade in Services, which is totally consistent with the balance of payments classification but is more detailed.
- US Bureau of Economic Analysis Statistics
(for a more detailed level of disaggregation visit the publications section)
The United States publishes the most comprehensive data on international transactions in services sectors available at the national level. The data cover both transactions between residents and non-residents (balance of payments) and foreign affiliates trade in services (FATS). Trade statistics are available for U.S. exports of services and sales by U.S. services affiliates abroad, as well as for U.S. imports and sales by foreign affiliates in the U.S. Additional information on the data and the classification of services sectors is available on the website.
- OECD Foreign Affiliates Trade Statistics
(select "Measuring Globalisation" from drop-down menu "Annuals (pdf)" and/or "Globalisation" from drop-down menu "Databases", under heading "Statistics")
Database “Measuring Globalisation: the Role of Multinationals in OECD Economies- Activities of Foreign Affiliates Database (AFA)” contains foreign affiliates information regarding a wide range of sectors, mainly in manufacturing. Some service sectors are also present, although the degree of representation is poor.
- OECD International Direct Investment Statistics Yearbook
(select "Intl Direct Investment Statistics Yearbook" from drop-down menu "Annuals (pdf)" and/or "International Direct Investment" from menu "Databases" under heading "Statistics")
Provides complete series of standardized FDI statistics grouped by sectoral and geographic criteria for all OECD countries. Technical notes explain the methodology of data collection used in each country.
- New Cronos Database by EUROSTAT
This is a comprehensive database covering a wide range of economic indicators. New Cronos includes bilateral and disaggregated data on trade in services pertaining to two modes of supply: cross-border, in the section on Balance of Payments, as well as commercial presence, in the section on Foreign Affiliates Trade in Services (FATS) statistics. To purchase the database and for more information, contact Eurostat directly, or an authorized vendor
Additional information on statistics on trade and investment flows can be found in the following documents:
- A Review of Statistics on Trade Flows in Services, Note by the WTO Secretariat (S/C/W/27). This paper can be downloaded through the WTO’s Documentation Facility
- GATS, the Modes of Supply and Statistics on Trade in Services, by P. Chang, G. Karsenty, A. Mattoo, and J. Richtering, Journal of World Trade, Vol. 33, No.3, June 1999
- Manual of Statistics on International Trade in Services, released by the European Commission, IMF, OECD, United Nations, UNCTAD, and the WTO. The document is available from the WTO website (pdf)
Market Structure and Performance Indicators
- ITU World Telecommunication Indicators Database
The World Telecommunication Indicators Database, maintained by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), contains time series data for a wide array of performance variables, including telephone network size and dimension, mobile services, quality of service, traffic, tariffs, revenue and investment. The database covers data from over 200 economies. The data is available for purchase. Extracts from this database are available free of charge
- The OECD Telecommunications Database
(select "Telecommunications" from drop-down menu "Databases" under heading "Statistics") Issued every two years, provides time-series data on telecommunications performance in all 29 OECD Member countries, from 1980-97.
- Universal Postal Union (UPU) - Postal Statistics
Starting in 1980, the UPU's statistical database contains data from over 200 countries or territories and includes approximately 100 indicators of postal development, grouped in 10 categories: general information, staff, postal establishments, technical means, financial results, delivery, letter post (total traffic), letter post (special treatment), postal parcels, postal financial services.
- UNESCO Annual Statistical Yearbook and Statistics Database
(Data can be found by following the links provided under the heading “Statistics” on the left hand side. Audio-visual indicators are available in category “Culture and Communication”.)
UNESCO audiovisual data includes information related to: number of radio and television receivers, number of cinemas, seating capacity annual attendance and box office receipts, production of long films and imports by country of origin.
- Global Construction Sourcebook
This publication contains rankings of design firms and contractors by country, regional market and industry sector, as well as outlooks for construction firms and market analyses for major industry sectors. Other publications on this website offer additional information on the industry.
- OECD Education at a Glance Database
Provides information on education systems and their performance in OECD countries. The 2000 issue also includes indicators of international student mobility.
- UNESCO Annual Statistical Yearbook and Statistics Database
(Data can be found by following the links provided under the heading “Statistics” on the left hand side. Education indicators are available in categories “Education”, “Literacy”, and “Global Education Digest”.)
UNESCO education data include information related to: national education systems, institutions by level of education, teaching staff by level of education and sex, students by level of education and sex, enrollment by level, and public expenditure on education.
Financial Services (Including Banking and Insurance)
OECD Insurance Statistics Yearbook
(select "Insurance Statistics Yearbook" from drop-down menu "Annuals (pdf)" under heading "Statistics"). Provides detailed information on the number of insurance companies and employees, insurance premiums, investments by insurance companies, claims, expenses and commissions for OECD countries. Included are tables on foreign companies’ market share in the domestic market.
- Bank of International Settlements (BIS)
The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) issues the several statistical publications relevant to services trade. The publication “Quarterly Review: International Banking and Financial Market Developments” includes a statistical annex providing information on the international banking, securities and derivatives markets. The data cover external loans and deposits of banks in reporting countries, international positions by nationality of ownership of reporting banks, international debt securities by country of residence, derivative financial instruments traded on organized exchanges by instrument and location. The publication “The BIS Consolidated International Banking Statistics” includes statistics on the maturity, sectoral and nationality distribution of international bank lending. Finally, the publication “Global Over-The-Counter (OTC) Derivatives Market at End-December 1999,” issued semi-annually, includes statistics on positions in the global OTC derivatives market.
- International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)
The International Accounting Standards Board provides information on the number of domestic and foreign companies with shares listed on major stock exchanges and parallel markets, by region and cities, number of domestic and foreign bond issuers; cross-border transactions in bonds and equities as a percentage of GDP for 6 countries for the years 1975-98; number of foreign companies registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission at the end of 1998 by country and by market; stock transactions on US equity market involving foreign investors for the years 1987-1996.
OECD Health Data
(select "Health at a Glance" from drop-down menu "At a Glance" under heading "Statistics") This database provides indicators which allow for a comparative analysis of health systems within and between OECD Member countries. The database covers over 1,200 indicators across 29 countries spanning the period 1960 to 1999.
- WHO World Health Report
Contains information by country on key indicators of national health systems, including mortality rates, fertility rates, life expectancy, malnutrition, and child health expenditures.
- World Tourism Organization
The World Tourism Organization maintains a specialized webpage for on-line tourism statistics. Data are provided from 1985 onwards and cover more than 192 countries and territories. The available information includes tourist arrivals (broken down by mode of transportation), nights of tourists in hotels, tourism receipts and expenditures, purpose of visit, accommodation. Available online for purchase.
- EUROSTAT Tourism Database
The EUROSTAT Tourism database contains capacity of tourist accommodation establishments, occupancy in these establishments and data on residents' tourism demand. Available online for purchase.
Transport Services (General)
- EUROSTAT Transportation Statistics
EUROSTAT maintains several databases on the various modes of transportation (air, rail, road, oil pipeline, internal waterways and multimodal). These databases provide detailed information on cargo and passenger traffic, including the results of Community questionnaires. Available online for purchase.
Maritime Transport Services
- OECD Maritime Transport Statistics
OECD Maritime Transport Statistics include data on world seaborne trade, oil imports and exports, commercial fleets by country of registration and type of vessels, and trends in maritime freight rates. Statistics are available for 1996-1998.
- Maritime profile of Latin America and the Caribbean
This database available from the ECLAC web site provides information on maritime transport and ports for countries located in Latin America and the Caribbean. The range of data is large including both performance indicators as well as information on policy and measures affecting maritime transport. The database provides mostly electronically available documents produced by ECLAC and other sources.
Air Transport Services
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Statistics
The International Civil Aviation Organization offers two main statistical publications. “Civil Aviation Statistics of the World” contain information on kilometers and hours flown, passengers carried, general type of activity of passengers, passenger-kilometers flown, tonne-kilometers of freight and mail, civil aircraft registered in ICAO states, fleet composition, as well as information on companies, such as the number of employees, operating revenue, expenses and surplus. The “Digests of Statistics” contains financial data and summary traffic data for international airports, monthly and yearly statistics for airports open to international traffic, financial data for commercial air carriers, data on fleet and personnel for commercial air carriers, revenue traffic performed for city-pair, annual data of civil aircraft on register, traffic data for commercial airlines, and statistics on the flow of traffic carried from point to point.
- International Air Transport Association (IATA) Statistics
(type “World Air Transport Statistics”, “Air Cargo Annual”, or the names of other publications of interest, in the “Search” box on the left hand side)
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) offers two main statistical publications. “World Air Transport Statistics” contains data on individual IATA member airlines. Data cover number of passengers carried, freight tons carried, kilometers flown for international, domestic and system-wide operations by year, fleet information, aircraft utilization, financial results, number of employees by airline, as well as summary analyses of main trends in passenger and freight traffic. “Air Cargo Annual” provides a global overview of air cargo market trends; regional market analysis; ranking of freight airlines by freight tons carried, freight tons kilometers, and weight load factors on all-cargo operations; analyses of alliance market shares; and individual country analyses. Available online for purchase.
Rail Transport Services
- International Union of Railways (UIC) Statistics
The International Union of Railways offers various statistical publications. The annual volume “International Railway Statistics” provides data on lines, tractive stock, passenger and freight transport stock, staff, train movements, and freight traffic. “Railways time-series data” includes data on personnel, train performance, use of wagons, and industry revenues. “Supplementary Statistics” offers additional and more detailed data on the performance and structure of the railways industry. Extracts are available online (annual and quarterly statistics)
Road Transport Services
- International Road Transport Union (IRU) - World Transport Statistics
The publication “World Transport Statistics” covers 178 countries and compiles official statistical data on road and railway networks; railway rolling stock and number of motor road vehicles; employment of road transport enterprises; freight and passenger traffic by road, rail, inland waterway, sea and air.
Last updated on October 2, 2006