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Telecommunication Services

This note has been prepared in the context of the information exchange programme currently conducted by the Council for Trade in Services in preparation for the forthcoming further round of negotiations on services. It is not a full or exhaustive account of the telecommunication services sector, which has already been extensively studied by Members. Following this introduction, Part II deals with the definition of the sector, Part III with its economic importance, Part IV with an analysis of GATS commitments and Part V with the trade and regulatory environment. The telecommunications industry is in a process of rapid structural change and dramatic economic growth. The national monopolies which have dominated the industry in almost all countries until very recently are now facing competition and in many countries are being privatised. Under the stimulus of competition and changing technologies new services are constantly being developed. This process was reflected and stimulated…

Additional Info

  • Type Background Note
  • Sector Communication Services (Audiovisual, Postal & Courier, Telecommunications)
  • Special Focus Negotiations
  • Geographical Level Multilateral
  • Published by WTO - World Trade Organization
  • Year 1998
  • Language English

Different Regulations, Different Impacts – What Regulations Affect Trade In Telecommunications Services?

The telecommunications industry is distinct among services industries owing to the crucial role it plays in driving economic growth and the rapid change in some of its key features such as technology and regulatory environment. Productivity growth in the sector – fuelled by technological progress, falling regulatory barriers and competition – is associated with downward spiralling of telecommunications charges. High price elasticities of demand for telecommunications services imply a substantial boost to traffic when prices fall and underline the importance of creating an economic environment conducive to competition among providers. Telecommunications services are traded in myriads of forms with technological progress continually adding innovative ways to trade this service. In addition to the traditional way of originating telecommunications services in one country and terminating in another, roaming and provision by foreign affiliates have become widespread and most recently, foreign operators provide both international and domestic services even without commercial presence.…

Additional Info

  • Type Research Paper
  • Sector Communication Services (Audiovisual, Postal & Courier, Telecommunications)
  • Special Focus Domestic Regulation
  • Geographical Level National
  • Published by OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Year 2008
  • Language English

Expanding International Supply Chains: The Role Of Emerging Economies In Providing It And Business Process Services

Offshoring of business process services (BPS) and information technology services (ITS), whether through international insourcing or international outsourcing, is transforming the way many companies do business. This paper looks at the expansion of international supply chains and the rise of China, the Czech Republic, India and the Philippines as exporters of BPS and ITS. It also analyses the nature of and factors behind this trade and identifies major business- and trade-related challenges arising. In this context it presents some of the labour market implications resulting from increasing trade between OECD and non-OECD economies. The analysis shows that the BPS and ITS sectors in the four emerging economies are very differently structured: Chinese and Czech companies are predominantly supplying their domestic markets while Indian and Philippine companies are focused mainly on supplying foreign markets. In terms of exports, they also supply different geographies: China is mainly exporting to Japan; the Czech…

Additional Info

  • Type Working Paper
  • Sector Professional Services (Accountancy, Advertising, Architectural & Engineering, Computer-related, Legal)
  • Geographical Level Regional
  • Published by OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Year 2007
  • Language English

African Telecommunications Commitments, Policy, Potential Offers And Request

This paper considers Africa’s challenges created by these developments in the world telecommunications markets, with particular attention with request and offers. The primary focus is on the GATS negotiations but we also account for other negotiations that will be simultaneously undertaken, particularly the trade chapter of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA). Following a brief background, section two reviews the GATS telecommunication framework in view of highlighting the main issues. These issues have to be considered in taking into account current and proposed policy environment in general (section 3) but also salient critical issues that are at the center of efforts of getting the negotiations focused on development objectives of African countries (section 4). The negotiation proper should assess options based on the offer-request modality, with each of the two dimensions (request and offer) presenting different types of challenges, which are reviewed in the last section (section 5). In all, while…

Additional Info

  • Type Working Paper
  • Sector Communication Services (Audiovisual, Postal & Courier, Telecommunications)
  • Geographical Level Multilateral
  • Published by AERC - African Economic Research Consortium
  • Year 2002
  • Language English

Rapport De La Réunion D’experts Sur Les Aspects Des Services Professionnels Et Des Réglementations Relatifs Au Commerce Et Au Développement

La Réunion d’experts sur les aspects des services professionnels et des règlementations relatifs au commerce et au développement sieste tenue à Genève du 17 au 19 janvier 2005. Les experts y ont exposé leur point de vue sur la manière dont les gouvernements des pays développés et des pays en développement pourraient contribuer activement à promouvoir le commerce des services professionnels, tant au niveau national que dans le cadre des négociations multilatérales. La note d’information du secrétariat de la CNUCED intitulé ´Aspects des services professionnels et des règlementations relatifs au commerce et au développement’ et le document de synthèse intitulé ´Moving professionals beyond national borders: Mutual recognition agreements and the GATS’ ont été salués comme des contributions importantes au débat et à l’élaboration des politiques nationales, y compris dans le contexte des initiatives et des négociations régionales et multilatérales. Différents points de vue ont Eté exprimés concernant les questions abordées…

Additional Info

  • Type Meeting Report
  • Sector Professional Services (Accountancy, Advertising, Architectural & Engineering, Computer-related, Legal)
  • Special Focus Domestic Regulation
  • Geographical Level National
  • Published by UNCTAD - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  • Year 2005
  • Language Français

Aspects Des Services Professionnels Et Des Règlementations Relatifs Au Commerce Et Au Développement

Les services professionnels englobent une grande diversité d’activités présentant des caractéristiques différentes. Ils sont au cœur de la nouvelle Economie mondiale de la connaissance. Ces services jouent un rôle essentiel dans le développement Economique, dans la mesure où ils contribuent à la création d’une infrastructure commerciale efficace, y compris dans ses aspects budgétaires et juridiques, et à la compétitivité des entreprises. L’évolution des marchés, l’innovation technologique et les changements règlementaires transforment radicalement le contenu des services professionnels et la façon dont ceux-ci sont fournis sur les marchés dans le monde entier. Le marché mondial de certains services professionnels est dominé par de grandes entreprises de services professionnels de pays développés qui se sont engagées dans un processus d’internationalisation accélère. Les pays en développement doivent renforcer leur capacité intérieure de fournir de tels services et accroitre la contribution de ceux-ci à la croissance Economique et au développement. Une règlementation intérieure appropriée…

Additional Info

  • Type Background Note
  • Sector Professional Services (Accountancy, Advertising, Architectural & Engineering, Computer-related, Legal)
  • Special Focus Domestic Regulation
  • Geographical Level National
  • Published by UNCTAD - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  • Year 2004
  • Language Français

Circulation Des Prestataires De Services: Accords De Reconnaissance Mutuelle

Dans le contexte des négociations en cours sur l’Accord général sur le commerce des services (AGCS), un certain nombre de pays espèrent des progrès sur la question de la circulation des personnes physiques prestataires de services relevant du mode 4 de l’AGCS et ils ont souligné qu’il était important de progresser en même temps sur la question de la reconnaissance des qualifications professionnelles. Le présent document, qui fait partie des travaux se rapportant au mode 4 de l’AGCS, actuellement entrepris au sein de la Direction des échanges, vise à contribuer au débat en cherchant à établir le bien-fondé du cadre actuel de l’AGCS, l’étendue des mesures prises en faveur de la reconnaissance et les perspectives qui se dessinent pour les accords de reconnaissance mutuelle (ARM), dans le cadre des négociations en cours sur l’AGCS. Le document comprend cinq parties: la première offre une définition de travail de la reconnaissance pour…

Additional Info

  • Type Working Paper
  • Special Focus Movement of Natural Persons (Mode 4)
  • Geographical Level Multilateral
  • Published by OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Year 2003
  • Language Français

Report Of The Expert Meeting On Trade And Development Aspects Of Professional Services And Regulatory Frameworks

The Expert Meeting on Trade and Development Aspects of Professional Services and Regulatory Frameworks was held in Geneva from 17 to 19 January 2005. Experts put forward their views on how Governments of developed and developing countries could play an active role, at the national level and in multilateral negotiations, in promoting trade in professional services. The background note by the UNCTAD secretariat entitled “Trade and development aspects of professional services and regulatory frameworks” and the discussion paper entitled “Moving professionals beyond national borders: Mutual recognition agreements and the GATS” were commended as important contributions to the discussions and as inputs into domestic policy formulation, including in the context of regional and multilateral initiatives and negotiations. Different views were expressed on the issues touched upon in those documents. The text that follows sets out to reflect the richness and diversity of the views expressed and suggestions made.

Additional Info

  • Type Meeting Report
  • Sector Professional Services (Accountancy, Advertising, Architectural & Engineering, Computer-related, Legal)
  • Special Focus Domestic Regulation
  • Geographical Level National
  • Published by UNCTAD - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  • Year 2005
  • Language English

Trade And Development Aspects Of Professional Services And Regulatory Frameworks

Professional services comprise a variety of heterogeneous activities presenting different features. These services are currently at the core of the emerging world knowledge economy. Adequate provision of such services is crucial for economic development as they contribute to creating an efficient business infrastructure, including its fiscal and legal aspects, and ensuring the competitiveness of firms. Market developments, technological innovation and regulatory changes are radically transforming the content of professional services and the manner in which they are supplied to markets worldwide. The world market of some professional services is dominated by large professional services firms from developed countries experiencing a process of accelerated internationalization. Developing countries are confronting the challenge of strengthening their domestic supply capacity in these services and enhancing their contribution to economic growth and development. Adequate domestic regulatory frameworks and active public policies, including trade policy, can contribute to achieving their development objectives. A supportive international environment…

Additional Info

  • Type Background Note
  • Sector Professional Services (Accountancy, Advertising, Architectural & Engineering, Computer-related, Legal)
  • Special Focus Domestic Regulation
  • Geographical Level National
  • Published by UNCTAD - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  • Year 2004
  • Language English

Moving Professionals Beyond National Borders: Mutual Recognition Agreements And The GATS

When a professional activity is regulated in a country, it can only be practiced by those in possession of the necessary qualifications. It is therefore necessary to provide for mutual recognition, between countries, of each other's professional qualifications. Otherwise, foreign professionals would have to repeat in the host country many of the qualification requirements that they have already completed in the home country. The GATS allows Members to deviate from the MFN requirement and set up bilateral or plurilateral Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs). This reflects the assumption that MRAs hold great potential for facilitating the movement of professional services suppliers, are instrumental to policy reform, and represent powerful tools for economic integration, while maintaining the diversity of services that come onto the markets. However, if those agreements, instead of being trade-creating become mainly trade distorting, and if they become instruments that facilitate trade only or mainly among developed countries, their…

Additional Info

  • Type Background Note
  • Special Focus Movement of Natural Persons (Mode 4)
  • Geographical Level Multilateral
  • Published by UNCTAD - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  • Year 2004
  • Language English

Service Providers On The Move: Mutual Recognition Agreements

In the context of the current GATS negotiations, some countries are expecting advances on movement of natural persons as service providers under Mode 4 and have highlighted the importance of parallel progress on recognition of professional qualifications. This paper, which forms part of ongoing work within the Trade Directorate related to Mode 4 of the GATS, aims to contribute to the debate by exploring the adequacy of the existing GATS framework, the extent to which recognition has taken place, and the prospects for mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) in the current GATS negotiations.

Additional Info

  • Type Working Paper
  • Special Focus Movement of Natural Persons (Mode 4)
  • Geographical Level Multilateral
  • Published by OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Year 2003
  • Language English

Services Postaux Et Services De Courrier

La présente note a été établie à la demande du Conseil du commerce des services. Elle contient des renseignements de caractère général sur les services postaux et les services de courrier que le Conseil pourra exploiter dans le cadre de son programme d'échange d'informations. L'information de base et les généralités sur le commerce de ces services qui sont présentées ici ont pour but de faciliter la poursuite du débat sur les questions pertinentes; aussi n'y verra-t-on rien d'exhaustif. Les services postaux ou de courrier en tant que tels n'ont pas fait l'objet de tests sectoriels lors des négociations du Cycle d'Uruguay et, à ce jour, il n'existe pas de note d'information à ce propos. En dehors de l'information et des données fournies par l'Union postale universelle, les sources de données générales sont rares, en particulier pour ce qui est des services de courrier.

Additional Info

  • Type Background Note
  • Sector Communication Services (Audiovisual, Postal & Courier, Telecommunications)
  • Special Focus Negotiations
  • Geographical Level Multilateral
  • Published by WTO - World Trade Organization
  • Year 1998
  • Language Français

Postal And Courier Services

This note has been prepared at the request of the Council for Trade in Services. It provides background information on postal and courier services, for discussion in the Council as part of the information exchange programme. The work contains basic and general information on trade in these services in order to facilitate further discussion of relevant issues and should not therefore be considered exhaustive. Neither postal nor courier services were addressed as such in the course of the Uruguay Round sectoral testing exercises and were not the subject of any previous background note. Aside from information and data maintained by the Universal Postal Union, few other comprehensive sources of data were identified, particularly on courier services.

Additional Info

  • Type Background Note
  • Sector Communication Services (Audiovisual, Postal & Courier, Telecommunications)
  • Special Focus Negotiations
  • Geographical Level Multilateral
  • Published by WTO - World Trade Organization
  • Year 1998
  • Language English

Présence De Personnes Physiques (Mode 4)

La présente note a été établie dans le cadre du programme d'échange d'information que mène actuellement le Conseil du commerce des services. Elle complète les notes déjà publiées sur l'évolution de chacun des secteurs de services et aborde les questions liées à un mode de fourniture particulier, à savoir la présence de personnes physiques. À l'instar des notes antérieures, elle ne se prétend pas exhaustive mais vise simplement à stimuler l'échange de vues et de renseignements parmi les Membres, en préparation du prochain cycle de négociations concernant les services. Le fait qu'elle soit axée sur les questions liées au commerce ne doit en rien empêcher les Membres de s'intéresser à bien d'autres aspects importants, autant sociaux que politiques, qui peuvent déterminer leur attitude eu égard au mouvement des personnes physiques.

Additional Info

  • Type Background Note
  • Special Focus Movement of Natural Persons (Mode 4)
  • Geographical Level Multilateral
  • Published by WTO - World Trade Organization
  • Year 1998
  • Language Français
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