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European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association



ETNO Reflection Document on the Trade In Services Agreement

Download the full Reflection Document here.

I- The importance of the Trade In Services Agreement

This document is about the negotiation and conclusion of a stand-alone plurilateral agreement on trade in services between a group of 22 WTO-members, the so-called Real Good Friends of Services (RGFS1). Those countries represented around two thirds of global trade in cross-border services (excluding intra EU trade) in 2010.

This future trade in services agreement should be based on the General Agreement on Trade in Services ("GATS") and is meant to advance the stalled multilateral negotiations carried out under the umbrella of the World Trade Organisation ("WTO") with those countries that are willing to continue negotiations on trade in services. New and/or improved commitments from all WTO members would be particularly important for the EU as services constitute the single most dynamic economic activity in the EU, accounting for almost 3 quarters of GDP and employment. EU companies are leading providers of services in many sectors and are the biggest exporters of services worldwide, with almost 26% of world total export of services and half of all foreign investment flowing from the EU to other parts of the world. Legal security and new market access opportunities are therefore crucial for European companies.

The last major services agreement, the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) was established by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995 and was supplemented, as far as our sector is concerned, by the Fourth protocol to the GATS (the Basic Telecommunications Agreement) in 1997. Since then, the world has evolved dramatically as a result of technological advances, changing business practices and deeper global integration. The TISA can establish new market access commitments and universal rules that reflect 21st century trade.


Download the full Reflection Document here.


1  Australia, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, the EU, Hong Kong China, Iceland, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Pakistan, Peru, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA

Members & Observers - View companies map

  • A1 Telekom Austria Group
  • Albtelecom
  • Altice Portugal
  • BH Telecom
  • BT
  • CYTA (Cyprus Telecommunications Authority)
  • Deutsche Telekom AG
  • Eir
  • Elisa Communications Corporation
  • GO Plc (Malta)
  • Hrvatski Telekom
  • Koninklijke KPN
  • Magyar Telekom
  • Makedonski Telekom
  • Orange
  • Orange Polska
  • OTE
  • POST Group
  • Proximus
  • Síminn (Iceland Telecom Ltd.)
  • Slovak Telekom
  • Swisscom
  • TDC
  • TDF
  • Telecom Italia
  • Telefónica
  • Telekom Slovenije
  • Telenor
  • Telia Company
  • Vivacom
  • AT&T
  • Cisco
  • Ericsson
  • Huawei
  • Nokia
  • Prysmian Group
  • Qualcomm Europe Inc.
  • Verizon

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