International Competitiveness in Services in Some European Countries: Basic Facts and a Preliminary Attempt of Interpretation
In spite of the increasing economic and social importance of services, the analysis of their international competitiveness is still in its very preliminary stages. The lack of adequate statistical information and theoretical background explains that backwardness. The aim of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of competitiveness in services activities of European countries. To carry out this task the investigation is divides into two parts: the first consists of the classification of the competitive position of the economies along 1990-2001 according to the competitiveness matrix developed by the UNO and the World Bank. Secondly, a first attempt of interpretation is made by exploring the factors which can explain the different behaviour of the countries, giving an especial importance to elements related to knowledge incorporation. In both cases, three sub-sectors are considered: transport and communication, travel and other business services. Finally, a number of recommendations as well as future research topics are included in the conclusions.
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