The first meeting of the WTO Services Negotiating Session in 2018 under chairmanship of Kazakhstan

On April 9, 2018 at the headquarter of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the first meeting in 2018 of the WTO Special Session of the Council on Trade in Services took place under the chairmanship of the Republic of Kazakhstan,.

Zhanar Aitzhanova, Ambassador, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, expressed her gratitude to the Ambassador of Argentina for his productive work as the previous Chair and then invited the WTO Member-states to discuss the main agenda item of the Special Session concerning its future work in 2018.

In her speech Ambassador Zh. Aitzhanova noted that for the majority of economies of the WTO Members, service sector plays a key role for development of their domestic production and employment.

Noting the dynamism of service sector, Ambassador stressed that in recent years public policy, as well as the conditions for doing business in service sectors had undergone significant changes. In this regard, the WTO founding Members' commitments often do not consider current realities and changes in trade in services conditions.

In addition, at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, WTO Members expressed their willingness to advance negotiations in all key areas, including services.

The meeting was well attended by almost all WTO Members and such countries that made concrete proposals by Australia, Venezuela, Hong Kong, European Union, India, Canada, China, Colombia, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Chile, Uruguay, Switzerland, South Africa, and also group of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) took the floor.

The WTO Members expressed their full support for the new Chairs proposal on the need to move into active negotiations on further liberalization of services market access. Moreover, a number of countries noted the importance of discussing cross-cutting issues related to service regulation, in particular, e-commerce, domestic regulation, support for small and medium-sized enterprises as well as climate change issues and in this regard it was suggested in the Special Session to have discussions on development of environmental services.

In conclusion, the Chair encouraged the WTO Members to conduct consultations on bilateral and multilateral level between the Special Session mettings in order to reach concrete results on trade in services by the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference.

Created at : 9.04.2018, 20:55, Updated at : 9.04.2018, 20:55