Trade and Industry

Thursday, 15 June 2000

Trade In Transport Services: South Africa And The General Agreement On Trade In Services

  • Year: 2000
  • Organisation: TIPS
  • Author(s): Willem Naude
  • Countries and Regions: South Africa

This document has been prepared for the Trade and Industrial Policy Secretariat (TIPS) in light of the imperative for South Africa to prepare its negotiating mandate at the discussions around the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) that commences in the year 2000. The GATS was negotiated during the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and is one of the pillars of the agreement establishing the World Trade Organisation (WTO). This document contains the preliminary and independent results of an investigation into South Africa's trade in transport services . In light of the imperative to provide a sound and consistent negotiating base for the South African government the objectives of the present study were to: Identify the extent of the (potential) comparative advantage of South Africa in transport services particularly land and maritime transport services; Indicate how far the transport services sector (excluding aviation) can be liberalised (deregulated); Identify the possible impediments to the exports of transport services from South Africa. The document is structured as follows. In section two terminology is clarified and important concepts defined. In section 3 the context of liberalisation in services particularly transport services, is provided. Section 4 sets out the case for liberalisation in services and identifies the importance of transport services. In section 5 a brief overview is given of the global transport service market. Section 6 outlines the main features of transport service' s contribution to the South African economy. In section 7 the institutional and regulatory framework impacting on transport services in South Africa is discussed. In section 8 the burning issues in transport services for South Africa, namely regional integration, the 20-year strategy of the DOT (MSA) and the question of transport costs to and from South Africa is discussed. Section 9 concludes.