August 12, 2003
Translation: FTAA Secretariat
FTAA – CONSULTATIVE GROUP ON SMALLER ECONOMIESREQUEST FOR FINANCIAL AND
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE UNDER THE HEMISPHERIC
COOPERATION PROGRAM – RELATED TO SERVICES
This project is related to Paraguay's needs in the area of services. It is in
line with the objectives of the FTAA's Hemispheric Cooperation Program, which
seeks to strengthen countries' capacities to implement the FTAA and to
participate fully in it.
To participate in a beneficial and equitable manner in the FTAA's negotiations
on services and assume its commitments, Paraguay requests support under the
FTAA’s Hemispheric Cooperation Program, in order to strengthen its statistical
information systems, with an emphasis on surveying domestic supply and demand.
- Project Title
Strengthening Paraguay’s negotiating capacity for the negotiations on services
in the FTAA.
Paraguay has participated actively in the NGSV. Thus far, the negotiations have
mainly addressed the normative scope of the Chapter on Services.
As stipulated by the TNC, countries must present their offers between 15
December 2002 and 15 February 2003 (FTAA.TNC/20).
Paraguay has a statistical system based on balance-of-payments manuals. This
system was developed by the country’s Central Bank; nevertheless, since Paraguay
does not possess any particular expertise in the area of trade negotiations, the
manuals do not allow for an internal analysis of sensitive sectors that is
crucial for formulating offers and requests.
This is because of the lack of financial resources with which to implement and
improve the statistical system and the lack of experience in quantifying trade
Conditions stemming from the very nature of the provision of services and their
intangible nature, the general absence of a physical transference across country
borders that would allow services to be recorded in the way goods are recorded,
and the lack of reliable international records for cross-checking are among the
main difficulties in quantifying the commercial flow of services.
Some FTAA member countries have, however, made progress in developing statistics
on services. Paraguay, for its part, has implemented a recording system with a
view to initiating the development of a statistical system similar to those
developed by these member countries.
As the trade negotiations move forward, having regional and national statistics
on trade in services is becoming increasingly important. To this end, Paraguay
must gain familiarity with successful regional initiatives and replicate them or
improve upon the corresponding national efforts.
The FTAA-level mandate for presenting an offer in services within such a short
period of time, including vis-ā-vis the World Trade Organization, requires
having a reliable statistical system to enhance the predictability of assumed
commitments and the impact of such commitments over time, allowing corrective
steps to be taken, if necessary, through safeguard mechanisms.
Having such a mechanism will allow the FTAA countries, including Paraguay, to
make offers that are farther reaching and more conducive to free trade.
- Objectives of the project
- To develop a methodology for formulating statistics on trade in services,
adapted to the needs of the relevant international trade negotiations.
- To develop mechanisms for coordination with other sources of statistics in the
- To train technical experts in developing statistics on trade in services.
- An expert in the development of statistical methodologies and the analysis of
trade in services will be required for six months.
- Implementation of the proposed statistical system in accordance with the
methodology, along with the training of local staff.
- The development of software and the acquisition of international statistics on
trade in services.
- Expected Results
- Once the project has been completed, we expect to have a methodology for
developing statistics, a database, and trained personnel.
- In addition, we expect to have a reliable, comparable statistical system
for trade in services that is operational and guaranteed to be sustainable.
- The establishment of statistical mechanisms to complement other regional
centers that develop statistics on trade in services.