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General Agreement On Trade In Services

General Agreement On Trade In Services:

Around 72 nations have agreed to take on additional obligations in services under the-General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) to ease non-goods trade among themselves and extend the similar concessions to all other members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

  • General Agreement on Trade in Services is a treaty of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • It was created to extend the multilateral trading system to the service sector, in the same way, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) provides such a system for merchandise trade.
  • It was signed at the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations’ conclusion and entered into force on January 1, 1995.
  • All WTO members are at the same time members of the GATS including India.
  • Basic obligations under the GATS may be categorized into two broad groups:
    • General obligations that apply to all members and services sector.
    • Specific commitments: These are obligations that apply only to the sectors inscribed in a member’s schedule of commitments. Such commitments are laid down in individual schedules whose scope may vary widely between members.
  • The GATS applies in principle to all service sectors, with two exceptions.
    • Services supplied in the exercise of governmental authority: These are services that are supplied neither on a commercial basis nor in competition with other suppliers. These include social security schemes and any other public service, such as health or education that is provided at non-market conditions.
    • The Annex on Air Transport Services exempts from coverage measures affecting air traffic rights and services directly related to the exercise of such rights.