Analytical Note, February 2005

GATS Mode 4 Negotiations and Low Skilled Workers.

This note considers the interest of least developed country (LDC) Members to participate in the market access negotiations of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The request and offer process of negotiations begins appropriately with the submittal of an initial request. Thus in order for LDCs to begin participating in negotiations, they should request their areas of existing or potential export interest. One area that has been identified by LDC Members is the movement of natural persons in the low skilled occupations through mode 4 commitments.

This note analyses the market access opportunities based on projected needs of developed countries for low skilled workers. The note goes on to match this need with the supply of low skilled workers in LDC countries to form the basis for the first step in request-offer market access negotiations – which is requesting mode 4 commitments for low skill occupations. Additionally, suggestions are provided on the ways in which LDC Members can appropriately request mode 4 commitments for low skilled workers.

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