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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Rupa Chanda, 2001. "Movement of Natural Persons and the GATS," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 631-654, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:24:y:2001:i:5:p:631-654

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin, Philip, 2009. "Demographic and Economic Trends: Implications for International Mobility," MPRA Paper 19199, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Anderson, Robert D. & Locatelli, Claudia & Müller, Anna Caroline & Pelletier, Philippe, 2014. "The relationship between services trade and government procurement commitments: Insights from relevant WTO agreements and recent RTAs," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2014-21, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    3. Eric Ng & John Whalley, 2008. "Visas and work permits: Possible global negotiating initiatives," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 259-285, September.
    4. Bernard Hoekman & Aaditya Mattoo, 2000. "Services, economic development and the next round of negotiations on services," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 283-296.
    5. repec:wsi:jicepx:v:05:y:2014:i:01:n:s1793993314400043 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Bernard Hoekman & Will Martín, 1999. "Some Market Access Issues for Developing Countries in a Millennium Round: Results from Recent World Bank Research," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 36(109), pages 947-978.
    7. Daniel Müller-Jentsch, 2005. "Deeper Integration and Trade in Services in the Euro-Mediterranean Region : Southern Dimensions of the European Neighborhood Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7335.
    8. Ernesto Zedillo & Patrick Messerlin & Julia Nielson, 2005. "Trade for Development. Achieving the Millennium Development Goals," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8367, Sciences Po.
    9. Orbeta, Aniceto Jr. C., 2013. "Enhancing Labor Mobility in ASEAN: Focus on Lower-skilled Workers," Discussion Papers DP 2013-17, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    10. repec:ilo:ilowps:486521 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Martin, Philip. & Abella, Manolo., 2014. "Reaping the economic and social benefits of labour mobility : ASEAN 2015," ILO Working Papers 994865213402676, International Labour Organization.
    12. Marchetti, Juan A., 2004. "Developing countries in the WTO services negotiations," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2004-06, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    13. Chris Manning & Pradip Bhatnagar, 2004. "The Movement Of Natural Persons In Southeast Asia: How Natural?," Departmental Working Papers 2004-02, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    14. Chaudhuri, Sumanta & Mattoo, Aaditya & Self, Richard, 2004. "Moving people to deliver services : how can the WTO help?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3238, The World Bank.

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