Members reiterated the urgency to formulate the services component of a package for adoption at the Tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi on 15-18 December. This echoed Director-General Roberto Azevêdo’s call to the General Council on 8 October to intensify work in the run-up to Nairobi.

Several members said that enhancing transparency on their domestic services regulations is the most realistic and doable way forward. They also expressed disappointment with the downgraded ambition for an outcome in services. Learn more about the services negotiating mandates here.

Some members said that any services outcome would be contingent upon:

  • ensuring that any transparency outcome was consistent with the objectives of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) Article IV (increasing participation of developing countries) and XIX (progressive liberalization)
  • achieving a balance with development issues (special and differential treatment for least-developed countries, developing countries and small, vulnerable economies)
  • preventing any undue administrative burden or the reduction of members’ “policy space” when defining the scope of any “transparency” measure
  • reaching an overall balanced outcome in Nairobi
  • continuing negotiations under the mandate of Article 6:4 of the WTO’s GATS after Nairobi.


Next steps

Chairman Gabriel Duque (Colombia) will continue consulting with WTO members in various formats.

Members will discuss a potential services outcome on “transparency” at the Working Party on Domestic Regulation meeting on 15 October.

Previous meeting report.


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