What Is Gats Agreement

The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is a global agreement that regulates trade in services. The agreement was created by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995 and has been signed and ratified by over 150 member countries.

The primary objective of the GATS is to promote the liberalization of international trade in services. This means that countries agree to remove barriers to trade in services, such as restrictions on the number of foreign service providers, discriminatory regulations, and lack of transparency in licensing procedures.

The GATS covers a wide range of services, including professional services, financial services, telecommunications, transportation, and tourism. The agreement also includes provisions on intellectual property rights and encourages cooperation between member countries in areas such as standards and regulation.

One of the unique features of the GATS is its negative list approach. This means that countries must explicitly list the services that they do not want to be subject to liberalization. All other services are automatically included in the agreement.

The GATS has been the subject of debate and criticism since its creation. Some argue that it promotes the interests of developed countries and multinational corporations at the expense of developing countries and local service providers. Others argue that it does not go far enough in promoting liberalization and that some countries are too cautious in their commitments.

Overall, the GATS remains an important tool for promoting the liberalization of international trade in services. Its impact on individual countries and service providers will continue to be a subject of debate, but its importance in shaping the global economy cannot be denied.