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Goods and services | Brussels, 24 February 2014

6th round TiSA talks end in Geneva

The 6th round of talks for a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) ended on 24 February. Chaired by the EU, the eight days of meetings in Geneva saw the negotiations gathering momentum.

21 of the 23 participants have now tabled offers, with only Pakistan and Paraguay still to put forward theirs. Negotiators discussed maritime services, mode 4, financial services, domestic regulation, transparency, professional services, telecommunication services and electronic commerce. Talks focussed on technical issues and working groups have been set up to discuss texts based on participants' proposals. The next round, chaired by Australia, will take place the week of April 28.

Background

TiSA aims to liberalise trade in services among a diverse group of WTO members who are willing to push ahead with liberalisation faster than the general WTO membership. Although the negotiations do not fall under the remit of the WTO, the EU is keen to ensure that the TiSA is carefully crafted to make it compatible with the GATS. Ensuring the agreement is GATS compatible will not only make it open to other WTO members who wish to join later, but also make it easier to integrate it into the WTO.