World trade in the services sector grew 1.9 percent to $6.14 trillion in 2019 from $6.03 trillion in 2018.
The travel sector accounted for $1.44 trillion in global exports, which is around 24 percent of the services sector. Various businesses in this sector held the second-largest share of 23 percent with $1.4 trillion in exports. Transport came in third with $1.03 trillion in exports, which is 17 percent of the total sector.
Telecommunications, computer and information ($0.68 trillion) was the fourth-traded service while financial services ($0.52 trillion) was the fifth.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's (UNCTAD) report titled "International Trade in Services 2019," published on July 10, Asia and Oceania saw the highest growth with 3.1 percent in exports. Travel and financial services were the dominating categories in the region.
All other regions experienced positive exports growth during the same period. Africa saw 2.3 percent, North America 1.5 percent, Europe 1.4 percent, and South America one percent.
Europe exported the highest amount of services – worth nearly $3 trillion.
The world experienced $5.83 trillion in imports of services during the period.
Europe also saw the highest growth in imports (five percent) in 2019 – while average world import growth in services is 2.1 percent.
Meanwhile, South America (negative four percent) and Asia and Oceania (-1.4 percent) saw negative imports growth in the services sector.
Services trade in developing economies
The top five exporter countries are the USA, the UK, Germany, France, and China.
Only three of the top ten services exporters are from developing economies – China, India and Singapore.
The services sector contributed more generously to developed economies. Around 30 percent of total exports in developed economies came from the services sector in 2019, while in the case of developing economies, the number was 18 percent.
In the same period, the services sector provided 75 percent of employment in developed countries and 45 percent in developing countries.
Least developed countries (LDCs) accounted for just one percent of the global services trade in 2019.
However, in some categories such as transport and travel, exports in LDCs grew faster than in other developing countries.