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A special Global Services Coalition mission is in Geneva as the latest Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiating round takes place on 28 April-2 May 2014. Its delegates, representing the Coalition's diverse membership, are present to voice their strong support for the efforts of the TiSA participants - now nearly a third of the WTO membership - towards an ambitious agreement, and to share views with TiSA negotiators. Global services trade (excluding intra-EU trade) reached over $3.35 Trillion in 2012, 68.7% of which came from markets represented in the TiSA negotiations.


The Global Services Coalition (GSC) brings together a broad range of representative bodies speaking for the services sector in their countries.  It applauds the ambition shown in the TiSA negotiations up to now. It is vital for business that the negotiations should continue to focus on an ambitious agreement. The timetable should aim at completion of negotiations by 2015 - a schedule that is challenging but, the GSC suggests, achievable. This will require continued determination to tackle the difficult issues early, so that the most exacting questions facing negotiators do not get left too late. Among such questions are "21st century issues" including cross border data flows, regulatory transparency and coherence, movement of business persons, global value chains, and rules for state-owned and state-sponsored enterprises that compete in commercial markets. Not all of these have been tackled previously. Services businesses worldwide look to the TiSA negotiations to break fresh ground by achieving new disciplines and new market access commitments beyond current levels of openness.


The Global Services Coalition reiterates that the TiSA participants should keep before them the goal of attracting new partners in the negotiations and offering a means for extending TiSA's provisions to all WTO members. We welcome and encourage wider participation by other countries ready to abide by, build on, and contribute to the TiSA negotiations, matching the levels of commitment to market openness demonstrated by existing participants. China's interest in joining is significant in this regard.


The global services industry reiterates its commitment to contributing to the TiSA negotiations, as advocate, supporter and trusted adviser. As before, the Global Services Coalition regards it as vital that the industry is given access to proposals and negotiating text, to ensure that the final agreement achieves the maximum for global economic growth. 


The Global Services Coalition looks forward to working closely with TiSA negotiators over the coming week.