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Making Trade in Services Supportive of Development in Commonwealth Small and Lowincome Countries

image of Making Trade in Services Supportive of Development in Commonwealth Small and Lowincome Countries

This Economic Paper assesses new innovative measures in trade in service negotiations that reflect the vulnerabilities and challenges faced by developing countries. It outlines the approaches that can help small and lowincome countries employ the Special and Differential Treatment Arrangements provided under the WTO GATS in a manner that is practical and supportive of their economic development.

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Approaches to Advance Special and Differential Treatment in the Multilateral Context

The importance of providing SDT in services to developing countries in the multilateral context is discussed in several key WTO documents, reviewed in Chapter 2 of this paper and reproduced in the annexes. These include articles of the GATS legal text itself (Articles IV, V, XV, XIX and XXV, as well as paragraphs of the Telecommunications Reference Paper), the Doha Ministerial Declaration (WT/MIN01/ DEC/1, 10 November 2001), the Modalities for the Doha Development Round of Services Negotiations, Guidelines and Procedures for the Negotiations on Trade in Services (S/L/93, 29 March 2001), the Modalities for the Special Treatment for Least-developed Countries in the Negotiations on Trade in Services (TN/S/13, 5 September 2003), the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration, Annex C on Services (WT/MIN/DEC, 22 December 2005) and, most recently, the Elements Required for the Completion of the Services Negotiations (TN/S/34, 28 July 2008). There is no dearth of agreed texts that have included references to the need to offer SDT to developing and/or least developed countries to help promote their services trade, exempt them from the requirement of reciprocity expected in the Doha Round services negotiations and urge developedWTO members, as well as the WTO Secretariat, to provide the necessary technical assistance.

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