Economics in a picture
Exports of non-tourism services are based on multi-service and multi-country firms
In the last decades, international trade in non-tourism services has been growing strongly worldwide. In the future, with the development of new technologies, non-tourism services will become even more tradable and, hence, it will be increasingly important to understand the behaviour of firms that export these services. In Portugal, even if tourism remains the largest exporting sector of services, international trade in other types of services is equally important. Since the 2000s, Portugal has been recording surpluses in the non-tourism services account, in contrast with the deficits registered previously.
A significant proportion of Portuguese exporters of non-tourism services sell only one type of service or have only one destination country, but the importance of these firms in the total value of exports is much lower. In fact, as observed for international trade in goods, multi-service and multi-country firms are crucial to explain the level of Portuguese exports of non-tourism services. For example, firms that export to more than three countries were responsible for more than 85% of total exports of these services in 2014-2015. In turn, firms exporting a single service accounted for around 40% of total exports of non-tourism services in this period.
For more details, see João Amador, Sónia Cabral e Birgitte Ringstad, “International trade in services: evidence for Portuguese firms”, Banco de Portugal working paper No. 10/2018, May 2018.
Prepared by Sónia Cabral. The analyses, opinions and findings expressed above represent the views of the authors and not necessarily those of Banco de Portugal or the Eurosystem.
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