Can a Growing Services Sector Renew Asia's Economic Growth?


Marcus Noland, Donghyun Park, and Gemma B. Estrada

Asia Pacific Issues, No. 109


Honolulu: East-West Center

Publication Date: April 2013
Binding: paper
Pages: 8
Free Download: PDF


To continue Asia's economic growth the focus for expansion and improvement must move from export manufacturing to the services sector--primarily to cross-border trade in such modern services as finance, information and communication, and professional business services. As the Asian services-sector economies have historically been dominated by personal services rather than by more information-intensive services, serious concerns exist about their ability to rapidly and successfully grow these modern services. While Asia does have some well-known services-sector success stories--such as in India and the Philippines--most Asian services economies have a history of relatively slow developmental change. Removing internal and external policy and structural constraints will be key to productivity growth in modern cross-border services trade. Improving educational opportunities and strengthening infrastructure and capital and labor markets will all be needed complements to regulatory reform if Asia is to grow new and innovative service providers.


The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Center.