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Construction of a Services Trade Restrictiveness Index

Ministry of Commerce and Industry (GOI), in association with IIFT, is conducting a study to develop a sector-specific Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) by quantifying information on regulations that act as impediments to trade in services. The main objective of the study is to assess the nature and extent of existing barriers that service exporters and importers face while trading their services in the world market. This initiative will be of immense help in government negotiations in trade agreements.

Guidelines for the Questionnaire 

The service traders of each sector and each country face a set of restrictions/regulations while trading their services. These restrictions faced by them, also called measures are grouped into a set of 5 broad policy areas or impediments to trade in services viz.

1. Foreign Entry Restrictions - barriers to foreign ownership and other impediments to market entry for service suppliers

2. Restrictions on Movement of people - limiting the movement of professionals based on certain nationality/residency requirements, non-recognition of qualifications gained abroad, etc.

3. Other Discriminatory measures & International Standards – discrimination between local and foreign service providers, for instance, on the basis of tax/subsidy treatments.

4. Barriers to competition - restrictions that limit effective competition, distorting the level playing field and discouraging foreign participation in different services markets

5. Regulatory transparency & Other Administrative requirements - opaque regulatory regimes increase the cost of compliance and uncertainty in business operations

The survey questionnaire consists of two parts - Part A & Part B. Please note that ALL fields are mandatory. In the first step, please choose the sector in which you have primarily traded and for the chosen sector ONLY, kindly fill in the rest of the entries.

Part A of the survey entails allocating a total of 100 points to the above mentioned five policy areas such that the policy area that seems most restrictive to you as a trader/sector-expert gets assigned the highest point and so on and so forth. The total of the assigned weights should add up to 100.

In Part B of the questionnaire, instead of allocating numeric weights to the importance of the five policy areas simultaneously, you are requested to make certain bilateral comparisons. As you can observe, there are ten rows in this question, and in each row, you are requested to answer two questions. The first question asks you to make a bilateral comparison between the two listed policy areas. In the second question, a scale of 1-9 allows you to quantify how important the chosen policy area is, over the unchosen one.

For instance, if the two policy areas in consideration are - Foreign Entry Restrictions V/S Restrictions to movement of People and you choose Foreign entry Restrictions as being more important, choosing 3 on the scale would mean that it is of ‘moderate importance’ in comparison to Restrictions to movement of People. The scale has been mentioned in the questionnaire explicitly.

To contribute to this Project, please click *Here*.

Your insights and hands-on-experience on the challenges faced by service traders will be extremely useful to identify priority areas of reforms for a set of both rich and developing economies.

For more details about the project, please click *Here*. Guidelines for filling in your responses are available on this *Link*



Manab Majumdar
  Dy. Secretary General
 Phone No. : 23357390 (D)
+91 11 23738760-70 (Extn 492)