The balance of payments of any state includes, along with other items, trade in goods and services. The world market of goods and services is an integral part of international economic relations.
International trade in services is fundamentally different from trade in goods, and it consists of the following:
- goods have a tangible form and are tangible, services are intangible;
- Any goods are visible, and the service is invisible;
- the goods have the ability to be stored, the services can not be stored;
- Trade in goods does not always have a connection with production, trade in services is associated with production almost always;
- the export of any goods involves the export of goods abroad from the customs territory without guarantees of return import, the export of services is the provision of services to a non-resident, even if it is located in the customs territory of the country.
International trade in services is precisely because of the invisibility and intangibility of the latter called otherwise invisible imports or exports. The production of most services is combined, unlike the goods, with their export, and requires the meeting of the buyer and the seller who have signed a contract for the provision of this type of services.
But in this sphere of relations there are exceptions. For example, the world trade in the services of a consultant can have a very material and tangible appearance: a printout of the consultant's report, a program on a disk or a flash drive, etc. As an example of a service that can be stored, you can give an example of an answering service, and a service that does not require direct interaction between the seller and the buyer can be cashing in automatic mode on a debit card.
International trade in services has some features in comparison with other types of trade:
- is regulated internally by relevant articles of domestic law;
- services are produced and simultaneously subject to consumption;
- the state protects the production and sale of services to a much greater extent than goods of material production;
- international trade in services is closely interlinked with and affected by commodity trade;
- Unlike goods, not every type of service can be traded.
In international trade in services, the obligatory and key moment is that at some stage, the seller and the buyer of services are in physical contact. Only with this condition can the transaction of international sale and purchase of a certain type of service take place.
Currently, there are several types of transactions mechanisms in the sphere of trade in services:
- the buyer of the service, representing one country and being its resident, comes to the seller of the service. This mechanism is called the mobility of the service buyer.
- the seller of the service comes to the buyer who is a resident of another country. This kind of characterizes the buyer's mobility.
- simultaneous mobility of both parties or mobility of the service. In this case, both parties either use the service at the same time, or meet in a third country, or the seller sells the service through representatives of a third country.
Trade in services is currently one of the fastest growing sectors of the world economy, and the reasons for the growth are the following. The degree of mobility of both producers and consumers of services is increased by reducing transportation costs; The emergence of new forms and means of satellite communications make it possible in general to abandon the direct personal contact of the buying and selling parties; Increased demand for services that previously had a commodity form: it concerns financial services, banking services and insurance companies.