Some Members also said they were not ready, as developing countries, to take on new obligations of domestic regulation in the services sector.

This meeting followed-up on the Services Council informal meeting on 9 October. Two distinct positions emerged on whether to start discussions on a potential services outcome in "transparency" for adoption at the Tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi on 15-18 December. While some members called for promptly starting text-based negotiations, others expressed concerns that prevent them from starting negotiations.

An outcome could be based on  proposals reflected in past Chairman Texts, which focus on  "transparency", such as disciplines for the publishing of regulatory measures in detail; establishing mechanisms to respond to requests for information by service suppliers; and publishing of draft regulation to facilitate comments of service suppliers.

Members could adjust the services component of the Nairobi package depending on the outcomes in other negotiating pillars. Some delegations warned that in the absence of an imminent start of work, the services component of the Nairobi package would be void. These members also expressed readiness to explore appropriate development components.

However, several members said they would only review written proposals and, as developing countries, they will not take on new obligations on their domestic regulations. They also expressed concern that cherry-picking "transparency" in the services negotiations would undermine the development dimension, particularly given the uncertainty on what the Nairobi package will deliver for development.


Next steps

Chairman Eog-Weon LEE (Korea, Republic of) will continue consulting with WTO members in various formats.


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