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Cablegate: Got Response On Wto Services Negotiations

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: GOT Response on WTO Services Negotiations

Ref: State 50753

Oya Karakas, Head of Department in the MFA General
Directorate of Multilateral Economic Affairs, sent
Embassy the following reply on March 11 to reftel
demarche on the WTO services negotiations. The reply
indicates that the GOT may not meet the March 31
deadline for submission of initial services offers.

Begin Text MFA Reply:



Trade in services has always been an area priority for
Turkey, in the context of multilateral trade
negotiations throughout the Uruguay Round. We have not
only actively participated in the work of the WTO
Council for Trade in Services and its subsidiary bodies,
but we have also taken our part in the negotiations
mandated by the GATS. The extent of our Uruguay Round
commitments and the level of liberalisation in our
services sector clearly show our intentions. Moreover,
since the beginning of these mandated negotiations, we
have supported the process with our flexible approach
and made our contribution.

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In this spirit, we have received initial requests from
some of our trade partners and presented ours to some of
them. We have also carried out some bilateral contacts
with them, including the US. We are pleased with the
level of interaction and cooperation among the
negotiation teams of members in services negotiations
and we happily observe a certain degree of progress.

We are well aware of timeframes of the Doha Development
Agenda, but as we all know, these indicative timeframes
are foreseen for all areas of negotiation and services
negotiations cannot be excluded from the whole picture.
We should not forget the fact that these timeframes of
the DDA concerning different areas are all interrelated.

At this stage of the negotiations, while some deadlines
are approaching and some are already met, unfortunately
we are still far from substantial achievements in some
areas. We also see a certain reluctance shown by some
members. For instance, there is not yet enough progress
in the TRIPS Agreement negotiations such as protection
for geographical indications and access to medicines.

As for the 31 March 2003 deadline for initial offers in
services, we are not yet certain about whether we will
be able to meet this deadline or not. Although we are in
process of assessing our interests and the priorities of
our sectors, as well as the initial requests that we
have received so far, we are not yet in a position to
set an exact date for conclusion of our initial study.

In addition to general concerns about liberalization and
greater market access for foreigners, we also have
certain sensitivities concerning our existing bilateral
commitments with our certain trading partners, such as
the EU.

Needless to say, conclusion of the required "modalities"
is not only important, but it is a prerequisite for the
negotiations. Since the beginning, we have been as
flexible as possible, so that the discussions for
modalities should not be an obstacle for negotiations.
Similarly, we have also been flexible in the issue of
assessment of trade. In order not to delay the
negotiations, we accepted that it is an ongoing process.

We fully understand the importance of "autonomous
liberalization" for certain members and we are following
the discussions on this issue and we are quite flexible
on it. Since, we expect the outcome to be a voluntary
mechanism, we see this issue as a secondary one.

We understand the importance of liberalization in
certain sectors, for your service suppliers. In fact,
all members have their own priorities and hopefully
throughout the negotiations we will accommodate all
these in a manner beneficial and acceptable for all.

Among some sectors, commitments and market access for
natural persons, or "Mode 4" commitments are
particularly important for us. This comes as a result of
the demands of our dynamic population.

At this stage, our initial consultations with our
relevant authorities and related sectors are still under
way and we are preparing our initial offers. We
understand that we may later revise them according to
the offers and requests of other members.

In this connection, we are looking forward to initial
offers of developed members. In our view, these offers
will be an important indicator for the direction of the
negotiations. The response of the developed members for
the requests of the developing members may have positive
or negative ramifications in other negotiation fora at
the WTO.
End Text.

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