The 21st century global economy is characterised by a number of trends, including the growth of cross-border trade in services, among others such as e-commerce. For Britain, focusing on services plays to its strengths as a largely services-based economy. Global trade in services is not as open as manufactured goods, which means that there is scope to liberalise services trade between countries. Capitalising on this gap would help position the UK for the decades to come.
The GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) does cover trade in services, but more needs to be done. The 2013 launch of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) by the EU, US, and other economies together representing 70% of global trade in services was intended to further open up the global market for services, helping these countries export what they specialise in.
For example, the economy of the EU is 70% services, but services make up just 25% of its exports. Even if services are partly non-tradable (e.g. consumed locally, such as restaurant services), these nations believed there was scope to increase their sale of services abroad.