General Agreement On Trade In Services World Support

Until 1995, there was no multilateral agreement on trade in services. This is mainly due to a lack of knowledge of the trade in services itself. LDC members have been given particular flexibility in terms of their commitments in the timetable of their services. Recently, the least developed countries have made more commitments. One of the peculiarities of the services trade is that many service exporters do not know that they are actually exporting! This is particularly the case for consumption abroad (mode 2). Service companies often earn foreign currency by providing services to foreign companies, businessmen who are temporarily in the market or local offices of international agencies, without considering activities such as exports. Accurate trade statistics are difficult to establish when exporters do not recognize or report their own export activities. The statistical institutes therefore find that they must first inform service companies of what an export is. One of the most promising sectors of trade for developing countries is services and new negotiations are under way from March 2000. This article, based on the publication of the ITC Business Guide to the General Agreement on Trade in Services, provides an overview of this rapidly growing and growing field. The rules of international trade in this area are still relatively new and can be shaped. The article also highlights niche areas for development and transformation economies. Exceptions may be granted in the form of Article II exceptions.

Members could apply for such exemptions before the agreement came into force. New derogations may only be granted to new members at the time of accession or, in the case of current members, by a derogation under Article IX:3 of the WTO agreement. All exceptions are subject to review; they should not, in principle, last more than 10 years. In addition, the GATS allows groups of members to enter into economic integration agreements or to mutually recognize regulatory standards, certificates and others when certain conditions are met. The promotion of a sophisticated range of financial aid specifically for the export of services, particularly for export development.

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