Gender and Trade in Services
About the Project
The APEC Putrajaya Vision envisages strong, balanced, sustainable and inclusive growth as a key economic driver towards achieving an open, dynamic and resilient Asia-Pacific community by 2040. The Vision commits APEC to pursue quality growth with benefits and wellbeing for all, including women. To help make this a reality for women, APEC Leaders adopted the La Serena Roadmap with the objective of advancing women’s economic integration in the region. An Implementation Plan for La Serena Roadmap (2019-2030) has been put in place with action steps identified in five key areas that focus on the integration and empowerment of women by enhancing their access to capital and assets; markets; skills and capacity building; leadership opportunities, voice and agency; and access to innovation and technology.
Services will play a vital role in allowing APEC to make progress on the objectives set out in the La Serena Roadmap for greater women’s economic empowerment. The services sector is the largest productive sector in nearly all APEC economies and the largest employer of women at all skill levels. The potential for the services sector to provide new and expanded opportunities for women has significantly increased in recent years given the transformation of the APEC region towards ‘servicification’ (a growing percentage of services in production, investment, trade and consumption) along with the growing digitalization of services trade. With over 60% of services trade now being carried out in digitized form, this allows for greater participation of women and women-led services firms to engage in trade in regional and global markets, with huge opportunities to achieve positive results for women’s professional growth, greater gender equality and inclusivity.
The APEC Group on Services has engaged in a number of activities to explore and analyze these changes in services trade and their potential impact on women, as well as the challenges that women face in engaging in services trade as both individual providers of services and services entrepreneurs. These activities have included workshop presentations, blogs, discussions, and the publication of a Policy Brief. This web page gathers together the output from these activities which took place during 2022 and 2023 to present this initial collection of APEC work on gender and trade in services. It is envisaged that this will be a ‘living page’ where future activities and knowledge outputs will be posted as they become available.