Main themes

 1. Technology, service innovation and business experiences

Services are being increasingly delivered using Information And Communication Technologies (ICTs) which give customers and providers more flexibility. Delivery of services – including advisory services, distance education, diagnostic medicine, financial services (ATMs and online services), and tourism (reservations online) - can now take place over long distances. For businesses, the use of ICT in services reduces cost while further facilitating co-production and innovation between customers and suppliers.

A new technological paradigm, referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), based on an interconnected global network of computers and devices, is also spreading rapidly. This transformation of business processes and the provision of new services will provide significant productivity and competitiveness gains. Examples include the shared use of homes and vehicles, and IT infrastructure architectures "in the cloud.” This is also referred to as the servitization or product service systems (PSS). New types of services and customized products increase profit margins and customer loyalty, as well as services innovation and new business models.

 Service delivery through ICT may increase competition and reduce traditional geographical boundaries that previously limited many service providers. Nevertheless, geographical closeness to customers remains important for some high-value-added services. At the same time, the increasing technological content of services may reduce employment, similar to the impact of robotization in manufacturing.

The above trends and innovations are particularly important in education, health care, and other public services to contain their rapidly increasing cost and to promote the technological catch up in these sectors in countries in the region. Moreover, innovation in public services plays an important role in further developing the national innovation systems.

 Topics to be addressed in this area:

- IT delivered services and services innovation

- Internet of Things, Servitization and Business Models

- Services, employment, and productivity in the era of globally interconnected machines and devices

- Successful technological business experiences in Latin America and policy implications

- Innovation in education, healthcare, smart cities, and other public services


2. Internationalization of services and trade agreements

The growing participation of services in international trade, as emphasized by the recently published Trade In Value Added (TiVA) statistics, and in economies around the world merits more debate. The study of trade in services is relatively under-developed, in particular, compared to trade in goods. Services trade liberalization and harmonization of regulatory frameworks is also underway in the region as has been the development of statistics that would allow for a better design of public-private policies.

 The internationalization of services, their increasing interconnection with goods production and trade, and their growing role in ongoing trade negotiations (TTP, TTIP, TISA) are all presenting new challenges for countries.

 Multiple topics can be addressed in this area:

  • Developments in regional and global trade negotiations on trade in services, including the Pacific Alliance, TISA, and mega-regional agreements
  • The role of services in exports and their links to development
  • Role of  services in adding value to commodities and manufactures
  • The impact of regulatory frameworks on trade in services
  • Trade in services and employment
  • Public and private policies promoting trade in services
  • Impact of ICT on international trade in services between the region and the rest of the world
  • Public and private policies to promote ICT-enabled trade in services

3. Services in global value chains

 Over the past two decades, the international fragmentation of production has been studied by tracking the movement of intermediate goods and services across borders. This work has concentrated mostly on goods trade. Relatively few studies have been done on the participation of services in Global Value Chains (GVCs), in part because of the lack of data by destination and origin of services for developing economies. Nevertheless, the number of case studies on these issues is increasing, in part, because statistics are gradually improving.

 Possible issues to discuss:

  • Availability of labor skills for services oriented GVCs and initiatives to reduce skilled labor shortages such as finishing schools
  • Methodologies to measure, classify, and quantify the participation of firms and countries in services oriented GVCs
  • Contribution of services to the production and exports of natural resources and manufactures
  • Case studies on the participation countries in services oriented GVCs, in particular, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO).
  • The impact of double taxation on services exports and their role in GVCs
  • Case studies on business service export firms and their links to GVCs
  • Lessons for policy makers, businesspeople and academics on the role of services in GVCs

 Key dates

Submission until March 31, 2017.


 Submission papers

All papers must be submitted in English

Times New Roman 12, minimum 7,600 words and maximum 8,400 words

Title: Maximum 12 words.

Abstract: English, Portuguese, and Spanish

Minimum three and maximum five keywords

Link for submission:



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