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WTO implements new regulations to facilitate global services trade

February 27, 2024 5:53 PM IST

India | South Africa | WTO | Okonjo-Iweala

In a landmark decision made at the 13th Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi, the World Trade Organization has announced the enforcement of new regulations to streamline international services trade. Following extensive negotiations, WTO members finalized the adoption of these rules on December 2, 2021.

Over the subsequent year, each participating member obtained domestic approval, leading to the integration of these regulations into individual member schedules. The majority of members have now completed this process, marking a significant milestone in global trade regulation.

These regulations, which apply on a Most Favored Nation basis, aim to make authorization processes more transparent and accessible, with commitments to gender equality also included. Research suggests that the reduction in barriers to services trade could have a substantial economic impact, particularly benefiting poorer countries. Director General WTO Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala conveyed her special gratitude towards India, South Africa and the European Union for making this a reality.

The implementation of these regulations is a response to the bureaucratic challenges faced by businesses in cross-border trade operations, aiming to simplify procedures and promote equal opportunities for services suppliers worldwide. By establishing common rules and best practices, the WTO seeks to ensure that domestic policy objectives can be realized without hindering international trade.

Vinod Kumar (UAE)

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