GATS : Domestic Regulations versus Market Access

Services have emerged as the engine of growth and an important source of export revenue for a large number of economies in the developing world. Developing countries are increasingly appearing on the global economic map as cost efficient providers of key business and professional services which are crucial links in the services supply chain. Access to developed country markets by means of a more liberalized services trade regime under WTO has the potential of exacting the maximum benefits from the ongoing Doha Round of trade negotiations. Despite ostensible openness through liberal commitments in GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) schedules, challenges for market access in developed countries lie in domestic regulatory requirements, often involving securing additional professional qualifications and licenses, local residence requirements, lack of recognition of degrees, which add significantly to costs of market access for developing country service providers.