SERVICIOS

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At the meeting, proponents and some other members called for further work to seek convergence. Several of these members called on the Chair to produce a negotiating text as an input into a discussion so as to pave the way for a MC11 outcome.

Several other members, who expressed interest in the development of domestic regulation for trade in services, considered that the time until the Ministerial Conference was too short to bridge the remaining gaps.

Some members reiterated fundamental difficulties with the draft text submitted by the proponents, expressing concerns about their ability to regulate, and questioning the benefits that the disciplines would bring to their respective countries. These members questioned the need for disciplines, and whether some of the proposed provisions were in line with the original mandate for the negotiations.

Several delegations who were not in favour of continuing work before MC11 suggested reflecting on post Ministerial Conference work.

Background

Work on domestic regulations (Article 6.4 of the GATS)

Work started in 1995 to establish disciplines on domestic regulations — i.e. the requirements foreign service suppliers have to meet in order to operate in a market. The focus is on qualification requirements and procedures, technical standards and licensing requirements. By December 1998, members had agreed disciplines on domestic regulation for the accountancy sector. Since then, members have been engaged in developing general disciplines.

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