Global Services Coalition Message to Ambassadors and Chief Negotiators of the TiSA Countries

Your Excellencies, The Global Services Coalition is disappointed that it proved necessary to cancel the Ministerial Meeting that was scheduled for the 5th and 6th of December 2016 with the aim of bringing the TiSA negotiations to a timely close.

We recognize and appreciate the tremendous effort that you have made in the negotiations and regret that circumstances do not allow TISA participants to move forward to the conclusion of a high standard, high ambition Trade in Services Agreement.

Services, which everywhere account for a significant percentage of GDP, lie at the heart of modern, competitive economies. TiSA is not only the first ever trade in services agreement with the prospect of improving trade among the members of more than 3.7 trillion USD per year, but it is also about securing the twenty-first century global value chains for trade in both goods and services through enhanced international governance of IT-enabled services, improving investment conditions for services and facilitating movement of skilled services business personnel across the global economy. A trade agreement of such tremendous potential for promoting economic growth and job creation is worthy of greater ministerial focus to help bring it to a successful conclusion.

We understand that you will be meeting in Geneva on 8th December 2016 to take stock of the situation. At that meeting we call on you to ensure that the significant progress that has been achieved to date in these negotiations is preserved. It is essential that you find a way to ensure that the progress made in the core text of the agreement, the impressive work that has been done by the negotiators to come close to finalising texts of annexes on horizontal and sector specific disciplines, and the efforts made by most of the participating countries to improve their market access offers be retained, so that none of the progress to date is lost when formal negotiations resume in earnest. We also expect that all opportunities will be seized to continue discussions and progress technical work apace, in preparation for the resumption of full negotiations.

TiSA reflects the reality that the world has changed since GATS was established and trade rules need to be updated to keep pace with the latest developments in business, technology, and innovation that are creating new jobs and economic opportunities around the world. We remain committed to supporting the successful conclusion of these negotiations, and therefore respectfully request that you make utmost efforts to encourage your governments to resume the TiSA negotiations at the earliest possible date. Thank you for your consideration and please let us know how we may be of assistance moving forward.