The Age of Servicification: Are Goods Services? Are Services Goods? (WTO Public Forum 2015 - co-hosted with the Asia Global Institute)

October 1, 2015 - 1:00pm - 2:30pm

WTO Room S1

The Panel:
  • Patrick Low, Fellow, Asia Global Institute
  • Emilie Anér, Senior Adviser, National Board of Trade, Sweden (Kommerskollegium)
  • Lucian Cernat, Chief Economist, European Commission – DG TRADE
  • Rudolf Adlung, formerly Counsellor, WTO Secretariat – Services Division
  • Daniel Crosby, Partner, King & Spalding

Moderator: Hannes Schloemann, Director, WTI Advisors, and Partner, MSBH Bernzen Sonntag Rechtsanwälte

Goods and services have long ben seen as generally complementary but conceptually quite separate. This may have always been questionable, but is now directly challenged by 21st century business reality. The rise of servicification, the emergence of ever more finely segmented value chains and the integration of bundles of goods and services in sophisticated technology products mean that much cross-border value generation today often involves both goods and services in close connection, their separation for purposes of policy making, regulation and economic analysis often being neither desirable nor meaningfully feasible. More generally the interrelationship between goods and services sector development, and hence between trade in goods and services is a key concern which policy makers, negotiators and treaty designers cannot ignore.

This workshop, in a panel-led but open discussion aims to address the question of coherence and convergence in law, economics and policy on goods and services, and attempt to provide forward-looking – and where appropriate: creative – leads to possible answers.