Trade Advocacy Fund

LDC Services Waiver High Level meeting

February 26th, 2015 by

On 5 February 2015, WTO members made an important step towards operationalising the LDC Services Waiver at a high-level meeting of the WTO Services Council. Members based their announcements on the LDC Group’s collective request, submitted on 21 July 2014, in which they indicated services sectors and modes of supply of interest to them.

TAF-support to the LDC Group has played an important role in assisting the group in the development of the collective request and the preparations in the run-up to the high-level meeting. As reported earlier, TAF has provided technical and legal research to the LDC Group to assist the LDC Group in identifying key trade in services export opportunities and barriers facing LDC suppliers, thereby enabling the group to identify which potential preferences to include in the collective request. In addition, TAF has supported Uganda in their role as LDC Group Coordinator by funding a senior trade in services adviser to support Uganda and the LDC Group in shaping and preparing the collective request as well as preparing for the high-level meeting.

The high level meeting was considered an important and exciting step forward in operationalising the LDC Services Waiver as 28 WTO member countries pledged to provide preferential market access to their service providers and to provide enhanced market access, capacity building and technical assistance to the LDCs. Among the countries that made pledges during the meeting were Australia, Brazil, China, the EU, India, Japan, Mexico, Norway, South Korea, and Thailand. Other member countries signalled that preferences were currently under consideration.

Further consultations between the LDC Group and individual WTO Members are expected to take place over the coming months. It has been agreed that the preferences should be followed up by formal notifications by 31 July 2015 at the latest. Once implemented, the Services Waiver has the potential to stimulate growth and development in LDCs by allowing them to export services to other WTO Member’s markets on a preferential basis.

For more information about the LDC Services Waiver and the high-level meeting, please read this article from ICTSD Bridges Weekly and this article from the WTO.

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TAF Projects (December 2013)
Country or Region Grant Title

Implementation Status

Afghanistan Advisory Mission to Afghanistan

Completed

COMESA Advisory Mission to the East and Southern Africa (ESA) Group

Completed

EAC Advisory Mission to the EAC

Completed

Ethiopia Advisory Mission to Ethiopia

Completed

Global Feasibility Study for Advisory Centre on Regional Trade Agreements (ACORTA)

Completed

Global TAF Advisory Event 1

Completed

Lao PDR Advisory Mission to Lao PDR

Completed

Lesotho Advisory Mission to Lesotho

Completed

Malawi Advisory Mission to Malawi

Completed

Multi-Region Advisory Mission to  the AUC

Completed

Nepal Advisory Mission to Nepal

Completed

PIFS Support to Pacific ACP States in EPA negotiations

Completed

Samoa Logistical Support

Completed

Sierra Leone Advisory Mission to Sierra Leone

Completed

Solomon Islands Advisory Mission to the Solomon Islands

Completed

Sri Lanka Advisory Mission to Sri Lanka

Completed

Uganda Advisory Mission to Uganda

Completed

Vanuatu Advisory Mission to Vanuatu

Completed

ACP Call-down Support to the ACP Group in Geneva

Ongoing

Afghanistan Trade Negotiation Training and Capacity Building Support to Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Ongoing

EAC TradeSift Training for EAC Tripartite FTA Negotiations

Ongoing

ECOWAS Trade Capacity Building Programme

Ongoing

ECOWAS WTO Law Advisory Services and Capacity Building

Ongoing

Global Channel 2: Training on WTO Law and Dispute Settlement – ACWL

Ongoing

Global Channel 2: Training on WTO Law and Dispute Settlement – Trapca

Ongoing

Global TAF Advisory Publications/Toolkits

Ongoing

LDC Group Support to LDC Services Waiver

Ongoing

Nigeria Support to Nigeria Ministry of Trade and Investment

Ongoing

PIFS Support to the Pacific ACP States in EPA negotiations

Ongoing

OCTA Support for PACER Plus Negotiations

Ongoing

Solomon Islands Strengthening Trade Negotiation Capacity of Solomon Islands

Ongoing

The Gambia Support to the Ministry of Trade

Ongoing

TMSA Support to Tripartite FTA negotiations

Ongoing

Vanuatu Trade Negotiations Support

Ongoing

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