India will make a presentation to World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General Roberto Azevedo and India Inc. on New Delhi’s proposal for a global pact to boost services trade
Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS) Agreement
The proposed Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS) Agreement at the WTO-level aims to ease norms including those relating to movement of foreign skilled workers/professionals across borders for short-term work
Objectives of TFS
- Portability of social security contributions: Ensuring portability of social security contributions
- Ensuring non-restrictive fees: Making sure fees or charges for immigration or visas are reasonable, transparent, and non-restrictive (or impairing the supply of services) in nature
- Creation of a single window mechanism for foreign investment approvals
- Cross-border insurance coverage: Ensure cross-border insurance coverage to boost medical tourism, publication of measures impacting services trade and timely availability of relevant information in all the WTO official languages as well as free flow of data/information for cross-border supply of services
FA vs TFS
Government will specify that the proposed services pact is similar to the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in Goods adopted by the WTO Members in 2014 to ease customs norms for boosting global goods trade.
- The proposed TFS pact is also about ‘facilitation’ – that is “making market access ‘effective’ and commercially meaningful and not about ‘new’ (or greater) market access.”
Barriers to services
World Bank data shows the growing share of services in the world economy, however, global trade flows in services remain subject to numerous border and behind-the-border barriers.
Read More: TFA