The service sector makes a key contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) and employment in most developing countries. It also provides essential inputs and public services for the economy. International trade in services can improve economic performance and provide a range of traditional and new export opportunities. With funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Overseas Development Institute has examined the role of regulation and trade liberalisation in services and development. The research consisted of literature reviews on six service sectors and more specific case studies of health services, financial services and tourism.