Ministers decide as
shall be entered into on a voluntary basis with a view to the progressive liberalization
of trade in telecommunications transport networks and services (hereinafter referred to as
basic telecommunications) within the framework of the General Agreement on
Trade in Services.
prejudice to their outcome, the negotiations shall be comprehensive in scope, with no
basic telecommunications excluded a priori.
Negotiating Group on Basic Telecommunications (hereinafter referred to as the
NGBT) is established to carry out this mandate. The NGBT shall report
periodically on the progress of these negotiations.
negotiations in the NGBT shall be open to all governments and the European Communities
which announce their intention to participate. To date, the following have announced their
intention to take part in the negotiations:
Austria, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, European Communities and their member States, Finland,
Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Slovak Republic, Sweden,
Switzerland, Turkey, United States.
notifications of intention to participate shall be addressed to the depositary of the
Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization.
NGBT shall hold its first negotiating session no later than 16 May 1994. It shall conclude
these negotiations and make a final report no later than 30 April 1996. The final
report of the NGBT shall include a date for the implementation of results of these
commitments resulting from the negotiations, including the date of their entry into force,
shall be inscribed in the Schedules annexed to the General Agreement on Trade in Services
and shall be subject to all the provisions of the Agreement.
immediately and continuing until the implementation date to be determined under
paragraph 5, it is understood that no participant shall apply any measure affecting
trade in basic telecommunications in such a manner as would improve its negotiating
position and leverage. It is understood that this provision shall not prevent the pursuit
of commercial and governmental arrangements regarding the provision of basic
implementation of paragraph 7 shall be subject to surveillance in the NGBT. Any
participant may bring to the attention of the NGBT any action or omission which it
believes to be relevant to the fulfilment of paragraph 7. Such notifications shall be
deemed to have been submitted to the NGBT upon their receipt by the Secretariat.