All WTO members are also members of GATS and have made commitments to varying degrees in the various service sectors. Transparency: GATS members are required, among other things, to publish all measures of general application and to set up national investigative bodies to respond to requests for information from other members. The decision approves the agreement establishing the WTO on behalf of the European Community (now the European Union -EU), including the General Agreement on Trade in Services No The results of the sectoral negotiations are new specific commitments and/or exemptions for the sector concerned. They are therefore not legally independent of other sectoral obligations and are not different agreements from the GATS. New obligations and exemptions from the MFN were included in existing lists and exception lists in separate GATS protocols. Members are free to tailor the coverage of the sector and the content of these commitments as they see fit. Commitments therefore generally reflect the objectives and constraints of national policy as a whole and in different sectors. While some members have provided fewer than a handful of services, others have adopted market access and national processing disciplines in more than 120 services out of a total of 160. These ongoing services negotiations have been incorporated into the Doha Development Agenda, launched by the FOURTH WTO Ministerial Council in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001. The Doha Declaration endorses the work already done, reaffirms negotiating guidelines and procedures, and sets out some key elements of the timetable, including a deadline for the submission of market access applications by no more than 30 June 2002 and the first offers until 31 March 2003, while the current regime and other issues continue in the Council`s subsidiary bodies. Only less than one-third of all members submitted applications and offers as of that date.
The deadline for the Doha Round is January 2005. The interests of developing countries have inspired both the overall structure of the agreement and certain articles. In particular, the objective of facilitating the increasing participation of developing countries in trade in services has been enshrined in the preamble to the agreement and is based on the provisions of Article IV. In particular, this article obliges Members to negotiate specific commitments to strengthen the national service capacity of developing countries; Improving developing countries` access to distribution channels and information networks; and liberalizing market access in the areas of interest to these countries. The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is the first multilateral agreement on trade in services. It was negotiated in the last round of multilateral trade negotiations, the Uruguay Round, and came into force in 1995. The GATS provides a framework for the rules governing trade in services, sets a mechanism for countries to commit to liberalizing trade in services, and provides a mechanism for resolving disputes between countries. On 15 April 1994, at the ministerial meeting in Marrakech, ministers from more than 100 countries signed the final act of Uruguay`s multilateral trade round. This is the end of the eighth round of GATT trade negotiations, which began in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in September 1986.
As part of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement, the package includes agreements on topics as varied as agriculture, textiles, intellectual property and trade-related investment measures. And for the first time, the parties have established global rules on trade in services through the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The GATS is expected to enter into force with the WTO on 1 January 1995.