GOVERNMENT is currently addressing the dismal performance in services trade to augment its participation in world trade in services. GOVERNMENT is currently addressing the dismal performance in services trade to augment its participation in world trade in services. This has been made possible through the European Union’s (EU) E60 million 11th EDF regional Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Trade Facility programme. Speaking during the launch of the consultations on the development of trade in services strategy for the country, EU Ambassador Nicola Bellomo said the EU recognises the importance of services in the economic growth and development of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) partner states. The launch was held yesterday at Mountain Inn Hotel in Mbabane. importance He said the services economy has over the years gained importance, contributing a growing share to gross domestic product and employment. However, he said most ACP countries, including the country, have not fully exploited their potential in the area of services. “This is seen in the inherent weaknesses arising from low levels of development, high economic growth vulnerability due to external economic and natural shocks, as well as weak institutional, regulatory and productive structures. Given such inherent constraints, promoting economic growth and development, particulary in service delivery remains a formidable challenge,” he said. In proportional terms, emerging economies accounted for about 30 per cent share of global services exports in 2015, while ACP states only accounted for about three per cent share of global services exports. Bellomo said this was a matter of great concern. “This dismal performance in services trade calls for urgent measures to enable ACP states to increase their participation in world trade in services. Concentred efforts should be taken to address the supply-side constraints, particularly in those services where ACP states have a comparative advantage,” he said.