Services and EU's external competitiveness (Competitiveness Report 2011)

Client/Funding Institution

European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry


This study serves as a background report for the annual European Competitiveness Report of the European Commission (DG ENTR). It investigates the role of knowledge-intensive service sectors in the EU economies as compared to other major economies such as the US and Japan. This is done from different perspectives pointing towards the various trajectories that the phenomenon of ‘quarternisation’ (i.e. the structural changes of the economies following ‘tertiarisation’) might take. Finally, we point towards the increasing role of service trade in overall trade, relate it to the patterns of trade in high-tech manufacturing goods and the relative importance of imported KIBS services in production costs and the increasing share of KIBS in value added exports.


November 2010 - March 2011


wiiw team Leader

Robert Stehrer

wiiw Staff

Doris Hanzl-Weiss, Olga Pindyuk

Project Partners

Norwegian Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU STEP), Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI), Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)

Keywords: international trade, services

Countries covered: EU27

Research Areas: International Trade, Competitiveness and FDI, Sectoral studies