Service export opportunities are booming — in industries and countries that may surprise you. And global trade in services is now at an all time high, exceeding $4 trillion annually.

In 1995, the United States exported $211 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $68 billion. And since 1985, exports of services rose by 189% — faster than exports of goods. As a result, many companies who didn’t feel they could export their services are changing their minds.

Tremendous Growth and Opportunities Ahead

The service sector is the largest component of the U.S. economy. In 1995, it sustained 78 million U.S. jobs and is expected to account for the entire net gain in employment over the next decade. This boon is overwhelmingly led by small, entrepreneurial firms.

The service industry is growing in other countries as well. In fact, it now accounts for half to three-quarters of GNP for many industrial countries. However, because services still aren’t traded globally on a large scale, the benefit to nations’ trade balances are not yet evident. This will change — soon.

New Service Exports Are In Demand

The export of services has become a major generator of economic growth for many industries. As this trend continues, service exports can have a very significant impact on your profits, depending on your business.

In addition to the most common — like travel, transportation, financial, entertainment, telecommunications and health care — a whole new group of industries are in demand.

Service Exports You Should Consider

Business, professional and technical services are now the second most popular service export. This includes accounting, advertising, engineering, franchising, consulting, public relations, testing and training. Major markets you may want to consider for expansion include the European Union, Japan and Canada.

From 1987 to 1994, exports of business, professional and technical services have grown by 391% to Europe, 189% to the Western Hemisphere, and 244% to Japan.

GATS Agreement Makes Exporting Services Easier

The recently implemented General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) covers 150 service sectors and involves more than 100 countries. It reduces or eliminates service export barriers, forces countries to treat most U.S. service providers the same as it does its own, and provides for the free flow of payments and transfers. Now that the walls are coming down worldwide, it’s easier to export your services — creating new opportunities that can be extremely profitable for your business.

This article appeared in January 1997. (PN)

John Manzella
About The Author John Manzella [Full Bio]
John Manzella, founder of the, is a world-recognized speaker, author of several books, and a nationally syndicated columnist on global business, trade policy, labor, and economic trends. His latest book is Global America: Understanding Global and Economic Trends and How To Ensure Competitiveness.

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