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BBL: Trade in Services and Labor Market Regulations

Joint Brown Bag Lunch Poverty Reduction (PRMPR) and International Trade (PRMTR)
Location:   MC-C1-100
Begins:   Jan 12, 2011 12:30
Ends:   Jan 12, 2011 14:00
Contact Person:   Cynthia Abidin-Saurman


  • Gladys Lopez-Acevedo, PRMPR, World Bank
  • Jose Guilherme Reis, PRMTR, World Bank

Speaker: David Barnes, IBM Corporation - Presentation (pdf - 1.4mb)


  • Raymond Robertson, Professor at Macallester College
  • Sebastian Saez, PRMTR, World Bank

Description: What is the relationship between trade in services and labor markets regulations? Trade is increasingly organized in tasks located in different countries. Greater liberalization of trade in goods, services, and investment flows has facilitated this. Governments have contributed by reforming the regulatory regimes of various service activities. As a consequence, new trade opportunities have emerged in services, especially the so-called business services, opening new avenues for growth and diversification. Global services providers take their decisions on where to establish and expand their operations after assessing a set of variables in different locations. Labor market flexibility is one key variable. Working remotely, part-time job regulations, individualized work schedules, flexible working hours, leave of absence programs, mobile schemes, work at home, are part of the options that global services providers are implementing in this new business environment.

 David Barnes, IBM Vice President of Global Workforce Policy will explain the importance of labor markets regulations on the expansion of trade in services and how labor markets regulations could promote further trade in services in developing countries. Professor Raymond Robertson from Macalester College, who has conducted extensive research on globalization and labor conditions, will comment the presentation. 

Speakers Bios:

  • David N. Barnes, Vice President, Global Workforce Policy, IBM Corporation. Since March 2003 he has had responsibility for IBM’s global interests in workforce public policy issues. In this role, he leads a team of professionals in Asia, the Americas, and Europe addressing employment laws and practices, compensation and benefits regulations, retirement programs, and global workforce deployment.
    Prior to being appointed to his current position David was Vice President, Governmental Programs at IBM’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Tokyo, where from 1999 he was responsible for IBM’s public policy and government relations interests across the region. He led IBM’s engagement with APEC, and was the private sector leader of APEC’s successful E-commerce Readiness Initiative, recognized by heads of state for its global leadership. David was a member of the City of Shanghai’s IT Advisory Council and a board member of the US National Center for APEC.
    Before transferring to Tokyo, David was located in Beijing as Senior Advisor to the Chairman, IBM Greater China Group. In that role, he developed a new government affairs strategy for IBM in China, and provided guidance on public policy issue management at both national and provincial levels of government.
    David had a ten-year career in the Australian federal government prior to joining IBM in 1986. He held policy and program management positions on information technology development and global trade in the Department of Industry, Technology and Commerce, and in the Department of Trade.

  • Raymond Robertson, Professor at Macallester College. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation and subsequent research focus on international, development, and labor economics. Prior to receiving his Ph. D., he attended and graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
    Following graduation from Trinity, he spent a year on a Fulbright grant in Mexico City studying the effects of NAFTA. A Social Science Research Council (SSRC) fellowship supported his dissertation field research in Mexico City.  As an assistant professor, he was the top-ranked liberal arts assistant professor in economics for publishing. His early research was supported by a three-year Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) grant from the National Science Foundation.  In 2010 he became a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C.
    He has published in the American Economic Review, the Review of Economics and Statistics, World Economy, the Journal of International Economics, and other journals.  His current research is supported by the World Bank and the ILO.

  • Sebastian Saez  is currently a Senior Trade Economist working at the International Trade Department, PREM, World Bank. Prior to the World Bank, he served as advisor to the Minister of Finance of Chile, and was involved in the GATT´s Uruguay Round negotiations. He was a member of the Chilean Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) where he served as Deputy Permanent Representative.  From August 2001 and July 2003, Mr. Saez was Head of the Department of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economy of Chile. In this capacity, he participated in trade negotiations with European Union, Korea and the United States.  He later joined the International Trade and Integration Division at United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC).

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