World Bank and WTO call for revival of services trade talks

The World Bank and WTO jointly advocate for the revitalisation of services trade talks, emphasising the need to promote transparency and predictability to unlock the potential benefits for developing countries.

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The World Bank President, Ajay Banga, and the Director-General of the WTO, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, have jointly called for a revitalisation of services trade negotiations. In their report titled ‘Trade in Services for Development,’ they highlight the need to enhance transparency and predictability in global services trade.

The report emphasises that services such as tourism and telecommunications contribute significantly to global GDP, yet barriers to services trade remain higher compared to goods trade. The report underlines the importance of reigniting international cooperation in the services sector and proposes expanding trade, reducing costs, improving transparency, and promoting the involvement of developing economies. While the report does not provide specific solutions, it underscores the benefits of advancing the negotiation agenda on trade in services and the potential costs of inaction. The World Bank and WTO express their readiness to assist governments in achieving these goals.