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This paper explores quantitatively the nexus between GDP growth and the twocomponents of total exports, focusing particularly on the role of services exportsin developing and transition countries. The Introduction exposes some of theshortcomings and methodological problems affecting BOP statistics oninternational trade in services, and briefly describes the main trends ininternational trade in services. Econometric analysis in the following sectionsshows that, in the long run, services exports do have a positive impact on GDPgrowth in developing countries. Yet, for developing countries, the services exports/GDP growth nexus is weaker than in the case of developed countries. Moreover,in most developing regions, the growth-enhancing impact of exports as a wholeappears to have declined in the 1990s, although this decline appears to be duemore to the merchandise component of exports rather than to the servicescomponent. In the conclusions, a tentative explanation for the aforementionedresults is proposed. Export-oriented services activities in developing countries areoften under the control of foreign economic agent, and they tend to be poorlyintegrated to the rest of the domestic economy. Thus, their potential as engines forgrowth is relatively weak. Moreover, many previously inward-oriented developingcountries, under conditions of financial duress, diverted resources towards exportsas a goal per se, rather than in the framework of a comprehensive long-termgrowth-maximizing strategy. Such opening-up reforms ended up facingExports of Services, Exports of Goods, and Economic~ 295diminishing returns. JEL classification: F15