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ONLY 82% OF ASEAN POTENTIAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX (HDI) IS REALIZED DUE TO EXISTING SOCIO-POLITICAL RIGIDITIES, AJC SAYS IN A NEW STUDY ON TRADE IN HEALTH RELATED AND SOCIAL SERVICES IN ASEAN

The ASEAN-Japan Centre (AJC), an intergovernmental organization of ASEAN and Japan based in Tokyo, just issued a paper on Trade in Health Related and Social Services. The paper provides an in-depth analysis on trade in health related and social services in ASEAN and some practical advice for relevant government policymakers on how to strike a balance between promoting equitable and affordable access to a set of basic health and social services, and modernizing the health and social services sector with recent technologies through trade liberalization.

AJC found that only 82% of ASEAN potential Human Development Index (HDI) is realized due to existing socio-political and institutional rigidities. In other words, ASEAN Member States (AMS) could improve their HDI by 18% without increasing their resources, but through effectively using them with the appropriate reform measures. Therefore, it is imperative first to raise the mean HDI from its current level. The study also shows that there is the need for further liberalization in trade in health related and social services.

The paper, entitled as Trade in Health Related and Social Services, is one of a three-paper series on Promoting Services Trade in ASEAN: Second Phase (Social Services). The other two papers on education services and environmental services will be produced subsequently. In the first phase (2017-2018), AJC has already issued the papers on a wide range of trade in services, including professional services; research & development services; telecommunication services; computer and related services; courier services; maritime, air, rail and road transport services; and tourism services.

Source: NAM News Network