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report is based on consultations conducted by the chair since his previous
report was issued on 13 February. These consultations, as well as extensive
written comments by groups of delegations, guided the chair in proposing
language that could attract consensus among members.
Further discussion is needed on certain
issues (shown in bold in the annex below) relating to participants'
level of ambition, their willingness to bind existing and improved
levels of market access and national treatment, as well as specific
reference to Modes 1 and 4 with respect to the treatment of sectors
and modes of supply of export interest to developing countries.
In addition, further discussion is needed,
including at the horizontal level (where other areas of the Doha
Round are negotiated in conjunction with each other), to decide on
the dates mentioned in paragraphs 7 and 8 of the annex.
These issues, and others relating to the
report, will be discussed by members at an informal meeting to take
place on 2 June.
On a parallel track, the chair of the
Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) will chair a “signalling
exercise” among a group of ministers, to take place at the time that
“modalities” in agriculture and non-agricultural market access (NAMA)
are agreed. At the signalling exercise, participating ministers will
indicate how they might improve their services offers. Subsequently,
the TNC chair will make an oral report on this exercise to the TNC. The purpose of the signalling exercise is to provide comfort
to members regarding progress in the request/offer negotiations in
services, while awaiting the actual revised offers.
The report and the accompanying
annex are provided in full below.
Download the report and annex (TN/S/33)
Council for Trade in Services
26 May 2008
Report by the Chairman back to top
Elements required for
the completion of the services negotiations
1. Following the circulation of my
of 13 February 2008 contained in JOB(08)/5, I have continued
informal consultations on elements required for the completion of
the services negotiations, and which could be reflected in a
possible text for adoption by Members.
2. A preliminary discussion of my informal Report
took place at an informal consultation held on 28 February 2008. At
that meeting, delegations agreed to circulate in writing any
drafting suggestions on the elements, in order to prepare for a
further consultation on 7 March. Written drafting suggestions were
circulated by the following groups of Members: Australia et al
(“Group A”), Brazil et al (“Group B”), Chile et al (“Group C”), ACP,
ASEAN, SVEs, and RAMs (1).
To facilitate further discussion, the Secretariat compiled these
drafting suggestions in a room document dated 6 March 2008.
3. Based on the written suggestions and
comments received from delegations, I have undertaken to modify
certain of the elements of my informal Report, in order to propose language
that could attract a consensus among Members. This proposed language
appears in the draft Annex to this Report. I have maintained
brackets in paragraph 4 of the Annex, where further discussion is
4. Paragraphs 7 and 8 of the Annex refer
to dates that will be decided at the time of the expected agreement
on modalities in agriculture and NAMA. I have not thought it
productive at this point to modify these draft elements.
5. Paragraph 12 of the Annex refers to the
special situation of RAMs. The ultimate treatment of this issue may
eventually be decided on a horizontal basis.
6. Throughout my consultations, three
Members have continued to express disagreement with the drafting of
a text in services. In their view, the principles and essential
elements to conclude the negotiation had already been agreed, and
there was no mandate for any negotiating text, nor a consensus to
Annex back to top
Elements Required for the Completion of the Services Negotiations
– Draft –
1. Members recall and reaffirm the
negotiating mandates and objectives as stipulated in GATS Articles
IV and XIX, the Doha Ministerial Declaration, the Hong Kong
Ministerial Declaration, the Guidelines and Procedures for the
Negotiations on Trade in Services adopted by the Special Session of
the Council for Trade in Services on 28 March 2001, and the Decision
of the General Council adopted on 31 July 2004. Members reiterate
that the negotiations shall be intensified and proceed to their
conclusion in accordance with the Objectives and Approaches set out
in Annex C of the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration.
2. Members recall that the request-offer
approach is the main method of negotiation in the current Round and
that, prior to the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference, such
negotiations had been proceeding on a bilateral basis. Members
further recall that, pursuant to paragraph 7 of Annex C of the Hong
Kong Ministerial Declaration, in addition to bilateral negotiations,
request-offer negotiations were also pursued on a plurilateral
basis. Accordingly, 21 collective requests were submitted by
co-sponsors to other groups of Members in the following sectors and
modes: Air Transport; Architectural, Engineering and Integrated
Engineering Services; Audiovisual Services; Computer and Related
Services; Construction Services; Distribution Services; Education
Services; Energy-Related Services; Environmental Services; Financial
Services; Legal Services; Logistics Services; Maritime Transport
Services; Postal and Courier Services; Services Related to
Agriculture; Telecommunication Services; Tourism Services;
Cross-Border Supply (Modes 1 and 2); Mode 3; Mode 4; and MFN
Exemptions. On the basis of these requests, 21 related plurilateral
groups convened four rounds of meetings. Since the Hong Kong
Ministerial Conference, participants also held six rounds of
bilateral request-offer meetings.
3. Members have participated actively in
the request-offer negotiations. They exchanged indications of
possible new commitments that might be reflected in the next round
of revised offers, in response to various individual and collective
requests. Some Members considered that the progress achieved to date
in the services negotiations was satisfactory compared to other
areas of the DDA. Others took the view that so far progress fell
well short of responding adequately to their requests. Members
shared the view that substantial efforts were needed to reach a
successful conclusion of the negotiations. They acknowledged that
the outcome of the request-offer negotiations would eventually have
to be assessed by each participant, including in relation to other
areas of the single undertaking.
4. Members reaffirm that the services
negotiations are an essential part of the DDA. They recognize that
an ambitious and balanced outcome in services would be integral to
the overall balance in the results of the DDA single undertaking.
Accordingly, the negotiations shall aim at a progressively higher
level of liberalization of trade in services with a view to
promoting the economic growth of all trading partners, and the
development of developing and least-developed countries. There shall
be no a priori exclusion of any service sector or mode of supply.
With due flexibility for individual developing countries, Members
should to the maximum extent possible expand the sectoral and modal
coverage of their commitments and improve their quality by making
deeper or full commitments. In doing so, they shall be guided by
paragraph 1 of Annex C of the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration.
[Negotiations must be driven by the same level of ambition and
political will as reflected in the agriculture and NAMA modalities.
While respecting the existing structure and principles of the GATS,
Members shall respond to bilateral and plurilateral requests by
offering commitments that substantially reflect current levels of
market access and national treatment and provide new market access
and national treatment in cases where significant trade impediments
exist.] In this regard, particular attention shall be given to
sectors and modes of supply of export interest to developing
countries. [Members reiterate that the next offers shall provide
market access in sectors and modes of supply of export interest to
developing countries, such as Modes 1 and 4, as indicated in
bilateral and plurilateral requests, in accordance with Article IV
of the GATS.]
5. In accordance with paragraph 5 of Annex
C of the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration, Members are called upon
to develop disciplines on domestic regulation pursuant to the
mandate under Article VI:4 of the GATS before the end of the current
Round of negotiations. Members welcome the progress achieved since
the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference and, in particular, that the
negotiations have moved into a text-based phase. In light of the
extensive and constructive discussions that have taken place,
Members call upon the Working Party on Domestic Regulation to
intensify its work and finalize text for adoption. Members invite
the Chairman to continue to consult on drafting revisions, with a
view to developing and adopting text before the end of the
6. Members reaffirm their commitment as
made in the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration to conclude
negotiations on GATS Rules pursuant to Articles X, XIII, and XV, in
accordance with their respective mandates and timelines. Members
take note of the efforts made since Hong Kong, including through the
submission of specific and concrete proposals, to facilitate
consideration and engagement in all three areas. Members recognize
the importance attached by some delegations to the objectives and
principles contained in these proposals. While there has been more
focused work, efforts must be stepped up for enhanced engagement
with the objective of advancing the work in the three areas as
expeditiously as possible.
7. In order to conclude the negotiations
in a timely fashion, Members shall submit revised offers by
8. Final draft schedules of commitments
shall be submitted by [.........].
9. Members shall fulfil the requirement
laid out in paragraph 9 (a) of Annex C of the Hong Kong Ministerial
Declaration regarding the development of appropriate mechanisms for
according special priority to LDCs. They shall strive to do so prior
to the submission of revised offers.
10. Members shall continue to give due
consideration to proposals on trade-related concerns of small
11. Members shall complete the
consideration of proposals on special and differential treatment,
referred to the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services
by the Special Session of the Committee for Trade and Development,
with a view to making clear recommendations for a decision by the
General Council prior to the conclusion of the DDA negotiations.
12. Members recognize the special
situation of recently-acceded Members who have undertaken extensive
market access commitments at the time of accession. This situation
will be taken into account in the DDA negotiations.
13. Members recall and reaffirm that targeted technical assistance
as agreed in paragraph 10 of Annex C of the Hong Kong Ministerial
Declaration is intended to enable developing countries and LDCs to
participate effectively in the negotiations. In this regard, Members
request the WTO Secretariat to prepare, prior to the submission of
revised offers, a comprehensive report of technical assistance
activities it has carried out in services since the Hong Kong
Ministerial Conference, to enable Members to identify further
required activities, on the basis of which the Secretariat, in
consultation with Members, could provide a roadmap for future
1. The composition
of the first three groups is: Group A: Australia, Canada, the
European Communities, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Chinese
Taipei, Switzerland and the United States; Group B: Brazil,
China, India, Pakistan and South Africa; and Group C: Chile,
Peru, Singapore, Turkey, and Hong Kong, China.
back to text
There are four
ways (or “modes”) of trading services, as defined in the
General Agreement on Trade in Services:
services supplied from one country to
another (e.g. international telephone calls), officially
known as “cross-border supply” (“Mode 1”)
consumers or firms making use of a
service in another country (e.g. tourism), officially
“consumption abroad” (“Mode 2”)
a foreign company setting up
subsidiaries or branches to provide services in another
country (e.g. foreign banks setting up operations in a
country), officially “commercial presence” (“Mode 3”)
individuals travelling from their own
country to supply services in another (e.g. fashion models
or consultants), officially “presence of natural persons”
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