UAE joins WTO’s joint initiative on services domestic regulation

The United Arab Emirates on Monday announced joining the Joint Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation, which successfully concluded negotiations in December 2021…reports Asian Lite News

This came at a press conference held on 13th June at the 12th World Trade Organisation’s Ministerial Conference, during which the UAE, Georgia, and Timor-Leste came aboard the initiative.

“As the second-largest economy of the Arab world, we are confident that being part of this outcome will support the United Arab Emirate’s long-term trade policy strategy”, said the Assistant Under-Secretary at the UAE Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade Affairs, Juma Mohammed Al Kait. Among his country’s priorities, he cited “the creation of an environment conducive to trade and investment, the strengthening of the UAE’s competitiveness in external markets and the development of international trade relations.”

“The implementation of the disciplines that this group of WTO members have agreed last year will help us to further align our framework of laws and regulations towards best regulatory practice,” he added.

A total of 70 governments, accounting for over 92.5 percent of world services trade, are now part of the deal on services domestic regulation. Announced in December 2021, the successful conclusion of negotiations is about improving the transparency, predictability and efficiency of licensing and authorisation procedures, with a view to facilitating trade in services.

The declaration adopted by participating countries last December sets new disciplines on making the regulatory environment more conducive to business and lowering trade costs for services suppliers seeking to access foreign markets.

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Research published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the WTO found that the benefits from implementing the new rules on services domestic regulation would result in significant reductions in trade costs of US$ 150 billion annually, particularly in some of the most crucial services sectors. Implementation is likely to generate broader trade benefits for economies, such as increased services trade and further participation in global value chains.

All the participating members have submitted their draft schedules outlining how the new disciplines on services domestic regulation will be incorporated in their respective commitments under the WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

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