WTO announces conclusion of negotiations of Joint Statement Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation

Dec 03, 2021

Geneva (Switzerland), December 3: The World Trade Organization (WTO) announced on Thursday that negotiations of the Joint Statement Initiative (JSI) on Services Domestic Regulation have been successfully concluded.
The announcement was made during a press conference in Geneva. Sixty-seven WTO members, accounting for 90 percent of Global Services trade, participated in this JSI.
JSIs can be broadly defined as a plurilateral negotiating tool initiated by a group of WTO Members in order to negotiate on certain issues without adhering to the rule of consensus decision-making. Participation in JSIs is open to all WTO members.
Director-general of the WTO, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said during the event that the JSI on Services Domestic Regulation will cut red tape and facilitate services, as well as enhance transparency, predictability and efficiency for licensing and authorization procedures. It will also lower trade costs, particularly more regulated "backbone" services such as transport, finance and communications, she said.
She called on participants "to continue to engage with other WTO members to enlarge participation in the coming months" and stressed that using the technical and capacity assistance measures would "help give more members the confidence to sign up."
The negotiations of the JSI on Services Domestic Regulation were launched by a group of 59 WTO members at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2017. Their conclusion is seen as an important outcome of the WTO's plurilateral trade negotiations. It should have been announced during the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference. However, the Conference was postponed as concerns over the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 triggered fresh travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in Switzerland and many other countries.
Source: Xinhua

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