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Negotiating Liberalization of Trade in Services for Development

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Services trade policies, in any country, determine the direction of policy reforms and the role which services trade should play in the broader context of growth and development strategies. Regulators, taking guidance from these policies, introduce the regulatory measures that serve the objectives of such policies. National policies and regulations then inform the positions taken by services trade negotiators to achieve outcomes that are supportive of national policy objectives and national development. In fulfilling their responsibilities, policy makers, regulators and negotiators need to be mindful of the multilateral trade rules governing international trade in services and related negotiations. The complexity of the subject matter has often been cited as a challenge. The purpose of this publication is to assist trade policy makers, regulators and trade negotiatorsin considering their decisions regarding trade in services and services development in the overall national development context. It could also be useful for other stakeholders involved or interested in services negotiations and policymaking, including the private sector, researchers and non-governmental organizations. The publication seeks to do so by providing a balanced, objective and sound analysis of the technical and policy issues about the rules and negotiations on trade in services and explore possible ways to address the above-mentioned challenge, especially under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) of the World Trade Organization (WTO). A brief analysis is also conducted regarding services negotiations in the regional integration context.

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Cross-cutting issues

This part explains the cross-cutting issues under the GATS, including the unfinished rule-making business of the Uruguay Round negotiations on trade in services, movement of natural persons supplying services, technological neutrality, data flows and e-commerce.

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