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Movement of Natural Persons and the GATS

  • Rupa Chanda

Trade in services has expanded considerably in recent years, However, numerous regulatory barriers constrain such trade, especially when it involves the temporary cross-border movement of labour, also termed, movement of natural persons. Many developing countries have the potential to export services through cross-border movement of professional, semi-skilled and unskilled labour. The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) seeks to progressively liberalise trade in services via different modes of supply, including the movement of natural persons. Under the first round of GATS negotiations, member countries have made sectoral and cross-sectoral commitments to promote trade in services for these different modes of supply. This paper discusses the significance of and various constraints to the movement of natural persons in service trade. It also assesses the nature of liberalisation that has occurred in this mode of supply under GATS and notes the limited progress made in this regard. In view of the ongoing round of GATS negotiations, it suggests ways to stregthen the overall GATS framework through greater transparency and specificity in the commitments on movement of natural persons and through the introduction of various multilateral disciplines. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal The World Economy.

Volume (Year): 24 (2001)
Issue (Month): 5 (05)
Pages: 631-654

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Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:24:y:2001:i:5:p:631-654
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