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More Effort needed in WTO Services Negotiations

More Effort needed in WTO Services Negotiations

 

The WTO services negotiations draft text issued overnight by the Chairman of the WTO Services chair is disappointing according to the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“The draft text demonstrates how little progress has been made in the services negotiations.  Language calling for new market access and bindings of existing market access are missing from the text because it is still subject to further discussion,” said Chamber CEO Charles Finny. 

“It is unacceptable that text that reflects the spirit of the Doha mandate is having to be put in square brackets.  This bracketed language must be made an integral part of the final services text.

“Services negotiations have the potential to break the current Doha Round impasse.  For key countries to agree to liberalisation of trade in difficult areas such as agriculture there will need to be some progress in areas where they seek changes, such as trade in services.

The services sector is also crucial in their own right as the services sector is increasingly important to the New Zealand economy.

“The Wellington region’s economy is one of the most dependent on the service activities of any region in New Zealand. 90% of our regional GDP is generated by services activity.


“More effort from all countries needs to be put into liberalising the services sector.  We expect the New Zealand government to be redoubling efforts to achieve an agreement on services which includes substantial liberalisation for many sectors and across all four modes of supply,” Mr Finny concluded.

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