Global Services Forum 2021: Services-led transformation for post-pandemic recovery


The Global Services Forum (GSF) is a biennial Forum that has been linked to UNCTAD quadrennial conferences. UNCTAD launched the Global Services Forum at UNCTAD 13 in Doha (Qatar, 2012). Since then, the Forum took place in Beijing (China, 2013), at UNCTAD 14 in Nairobi (Kenya, 2016) and in Buenos Aires (Argentina, 2018). The Global Services Forum seeks to advance the development agenda linked to the services’ economy and trade and promote partnerships between stakeholders.

The 5th edition of the GSF addresses the role of services in structural transformation and diversification to reduce vulnerability to economic shocks and promote a more resilient post-pandemic recovery. The Global Services Forum 2021 aims to increase awareness on these topics and identify policy options, strategies and partnership opportunities. This event contributes to the fifteenth session of the Ministerial Conference of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 15) in October 2021, which theme is “From inequality and vulnerability to prosperity for all”.

The GSF will bring together key relevant stakeholders from all regions – policy makers, regulators, business leaders, academics, coalitions of services industries and others – who will share their views and experiences on ways to unlock the development potential of services.

Concept Note

Events in the Global Services Forum 2021

A series of events will take place in the Global Services Forum 2021, including:

  • Services-led transformation for post-pandemic recovery
    High-level pre-event to the 15th Ministerial Conference of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
    22 September 2021
  • FIREFLY Cultural Exhibit
    Barbados Coalition of Service Industries cultural event with the participation of performers from Barbados
    22 September 2021
  • Governance and export performance of modern services in Latin America and India
    Book presentation
    22 September 2021
  • Create, Innovate, Recover: digitalizing creative industries for a sustainable recovery in Africa
    High-level event
    23 September 2021
  • More resilient and sustainable tourism for the post-pandemic recovery
    23 September 2021
  • Promoting the participation of developing regions in global information and communications technology-enabled services trade
    23 September 2021
  • Towards a New Framework for Services Policy Review
    United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Brainstorming Workshop, by invitation only
    24 September 2021
  • Business opportunities in the new era of Global Services
    24 September 2021