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GSC Joint Statement on TiSA (14 April 2016)2016-04-18


Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) Negotiations 

14 April 2016

As the 17th round of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations is currently underway in Geneva this week, the Global Services Coalition (GSC), representing services enterprises and sector-specific services associations in our respective countries and regions, call on the trade negotiators to intensify efforts toward a high ambition agreement.
The GSC is encouraged by the ambitious plan for the year 2016 where many rounds of talks have been scheduled and two sets of deadlines for revised offers have been agreed upon. This demonstrates a clear willingness to seek to conclude the negotiations in the near future.

This week’s round is critical to ensure that concrete progress is made toward stabilising texts of the core agreement and of regulatory disciplines in crucial areas such as domestic regulation, transparency in licensing procedures, in telecommunication and e-commerce (particularly data flows and prohibitions on forced data localization for all sectors), financial services, and delivery services. Further work needs to be done on important issues for international trade such as temporary mobility of service providers, environmental services and transportation.

Services industries continue to share the view that the substance of the deal remains paramount. GSC calls upon the negotiators to make utmost strides to conclude the talks by the end of this year, consistent with ensuring a high standard and ambitious agreement. Efforts need to continue to be made by all parties to push towards a conclusion by following the agreed timetable and registering significant progress at each step, notably ambitious market offers by end of May 2016 that provide new meaningful business opportunities. We encourage Parties to consider the planning of an additional TiSA ministers meeting in due time.

The GSC recalls that latest figures from the OECD/WTO Trade in Value Added (TiVA) database show that services represent roughly half of total global exports. For much too long, services in multilateral negotiations have been hostage to other negotiating topics. The TiSA offers the best opportunity to overcome that impasse and establish a template for 21st century services trade, for the benefit of the world economy.