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Sustainable trade

Impact of COVID-19 on cost of services exports

Published 11 September 2020 | 1 minute read

This OECD report describes the cost impacts of the travel restrictions implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic on services exports.

Travel restrictions were implemented to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic from March 2020. This OECD report outlines the cost-impact of regulatory restrictions on the movement of people across international borders on services exports.

Cost of services exports during Covid-19

Services trade costs are estimated to increase by an average of 12% of export values across sectors and countries in the medium term in a hypothetical scenario where all the countries are assumed to close their borders to passengers but leave freight trade open.

International trade travel restrictions were implemented on health and safety grounds following the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020. The analysis relies on several illustrative scenarios in which all the countries are assumed to close their borders to passengers, but leave freight trade open. The analysis identifies a large variability in the increase in services-trade costs across sectors and across countries, reflecting the stringency of initial regulations and the relative importance of business travel and labor mobility to international services trade.

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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation that works to build better policies for better lives.

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