SERVICES: SEMINAR

CTS Thematic Seminar: “Mode 4 at Work”

As agreed by the Council for Trade in Services (CTS), on 10 October the WTO held a thematic seminar on the temporary movement of natural persons across borders for the purpose of supplying services. Also known as “Mode 4”, this trade modality covers individuals who are either service suppliers (such as independent professionals) or are employed by a service supplier.

Under the title “Mode 4 at work”, the seminar provided an overview of Mode 4 of the GATS and discussed its scope, offering also a snapshot of the specific commitments undertaken and most favoured-nation exemptions listed by WTO members. Mode 4 access and pertinent regulatory disciplines negotiated in Regional Trade Agreements, the main challenges of measuring Mode 4 trade and its economic impact also featured in the discussion. Participants had the opportunity to discuss regulatory measures that may have a bearing on scheduled Mode 4 commitments and addressed the challenges to realising the benefits of existing Mode 4 bindings.

The event was open to representatives of WTO members, international organizations, public and private entities and individual experts.

Programme

OPENING REMARKS

10:00 – 10:10

  • Opening by the Chairman of the Seminar
    H.E. Mr. Alfredo SUESCUM, Ambassador of Panama to the WTO and Chairman of the Council for Trade in Services
  • Welcome and keynote address
    Mr. Yonov Frederick AGAH, Deputy Director-General, WTO

PART I — SETTING THE SCENE

MODE 4 — Scope, Commitments, MFN Exemptions

10:10 – 10:30

This session will provide an overview of mode 4 of the GATS and discuss its scope. It will also offer a snapshot of the specific commitments undertaken and MFN exemptions listed by WTO Members with regard to this mode of supply.

  • Ms. Xiaolin CHAI, Director, Trade in Services and Investment Division, WTO Secretariat
    Presentation

Questions and answers

RTA Practices

10:30 – 12:00

This session will start off by providing an overall summary of the mode 4 access and pertinent regulatory disciplines negotiated in RTAs. It will then offer an opportunity for various stakeholders to share relevant experiences.

  • Ms. Antonia CARZANIGA, Counsellor, Trade in Services and Investment Division, WTO Secretariat
    Presentation
  • Ms. Marie-Andrée LÉVESQUE, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Canada to the WTO
    Presentation
  • Ms. Yaşın YAVUZ, Foreign Trade Expert, Department of Trade in Services Agreements, Ministry of Trade, Turkey
    Presentation
  • Dr. Simon J. TANS, Assistant Professor, Radboud University, The Netherlands
    Presentation

Questions and answers

The Economic Impact of Mode 4

12:00 – 13:00

After discussing the main challenges of measuring mode 4 trade, this session will present available estimates of trade through this mode of supply. It will then discuss the economic impact of mode 4 trade, drawing upon available academic research.

Questions and answers

PART II — MODE 4 AT WORK

Mode 4 Commitments in Action

15:00 – 17:55

This session will consider how mode 4 commitments are administered within the broader regulatory frameworks.  Participants will also discuss regulatory measures that may have a bearing on scheduled mode 4 commitments and address the challenges to realising the benefits of existing mode 4 bindings. 

Such challenges may include definitional elements pertaining to various mode 4 categories, administration of market access limitations such as Labour Market Tests/Economic Needs Tests or national treatment limitations such as discriminatory residency requirements, transparency of mode 4-related measures, recognition of qualifications, intermodal linkages and how barriers in other modes may affect mode 4, as well as any other challenges to effectively reaping the benefits of mode 4 commitments. 

The main constituents in both home and host countries, including private sector representatives and regulators, will share their experiences and perspectives.

  • Mr. Gagan SABHARWAL, Senior Director, Global Trade Development, NASSCOM
    Presentation
  • Mr. Sekou Falil DOUMBOUYA, Partner, African Trade & Sustainable Development (AFTSD)
    Presentation
  • Ms. Taiana MORA, President, Dominican Republic Coalition of Services (CSRD)
    Presentation
  • Ms. Jo ANTOONS, Managing Partner, Fragomen Global LLP
    Presentation
  • Ms. Madeleine SUMPTION, Director, The Migration Observatory, Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford
    Presentation
  • Mr. Jean-Christophe DUMONT, Head, International Migration Division, Department of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (DELSA), OECD
    Presentation

Questions and answers

CLOSING REMARKS

17:55 – 18:00

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