Effective Market Access for Least Developed Countries’ Services Exports

Case Study on Utilizing the World Trade Organization Services Waiver in Senegal

image of Effective Market Access for Least Developed Countries’ Services Exports

The LDC Waiver is a legal tool that enables WTO Members to sidestep their obligation to treat all services imports equally under the Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) clause through the granting preferential treatment to services and service exporters from a Least Developed Country (LDC). It is similar to the “Enabling Clause” for goods within the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), except that the Waiver only benefits LDCs, not all developing countries. It operates thus as an “LDC-only Enabling Clause for services”. The Waiver only enables preferences, it does not require WTO Members to grant them, nor provide them with specific ideas or tools to facilitate LDCs’ exports into their markets. This paper presents the findings of the pilot study on Senegal. Focusing on a selection of services sectors of particular export interest to Senegal, this case-study assesses, where appropriate on an anecdotal basis, whether and to what extent the preferences granted by WTO Members respond to the market access, regulatory and other barriers experienced by Senegal’s services exporters in their export market(s). By converging all available sources of information, the analysis aims to identify the relevance of the notified preferences for Senegal’s services exports, possible gaps and opportunities for further development of improved market access mechanisms, as well as its utilization by LDC services exporters.



Services and services trade in Senegal

Senegal is a West African country bordered by The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania and the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of around 15.4 million, Senegal is a key political and economic hub in the region. It is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), The West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA/WAEMU), the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), the African Union and the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), among others. Services matter greatly for Senegal. It has multiple vibrant services sectors, an outwardlooking, mobile population, and a strong impetus towards modernization, including of infrastructure and policies relevant to services. The country’s overall flagship strategy “Plan Sénégal Emergeant” (PSE) refers prominently to services, and the Ministry of Trade and its Direction du Commerce Extérieur (DCE) makes every effort to engage development partners, including UNCTAD, the WTO and other multilateral agencies, in its efforts to develop policies relevant to services trade and services exports in particular.


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