In addition, members who enter into a free trade agreement or customs union can liberalize trade in services among themselves without having to extend the agreement to other GATS members. However, their bilateral or regional agreement must have significant sectoral coverage and aim to reduce or avoid discrimination. The commitments contained in the GATS can be divided into two broad groups: general commitments that apply to all members and service sectors and commitments that apply only to sectors in a member`s commitment plan. These obligations are defined in individual timetables, the scope of which can vary considerably from one Member State to another. The relevant terms and concepts are similar, but not necessarily identical to those of the GATT; Domestic processing is, for example, a general obligation in trade in goods and non-negotiable as in the GATS. The presentation of this report is organized as follows: Section II deals with general principles and obligations, including dispute resolution and institutional rules. Section III analyses, sector by sector, the specific sectoral provisions contained in the annexes, decisions, declarations and understanding. Sections IV and V contain some brief comments on the timing of commitments or the MFN exemption lists. While the concept of progressive liberalisation is one of the fundamental principles of the GATS, Article XIX provides that liberalisation takes place in accordance with national political objectives and the level of development of members, both in the various sectors and in the various sectors. Developing countries will thus have flexibility to open fewer sectors, liberalize fewer types of transactions and gradually expand market access depending on their development situation. Other provisions ensure that developing countries have greater flexibility in implementing the policy of economic integration, maintaining constraints on the reasons for the balance of payments and determining access and use of their telecommunications networks and services. In addition, developing countries are entitled to technical assistance from the WTO secretariat. The decision approves the agreement establishing the WTO on behalf of the European Community (now the European Union -EU), including the General Agreement on Trade in Services The GATS agreement includes four types of cross-border service delivery: The interests of developing countries have inspired both the overall structure of the agreement and certain articles.
In particular, the objective of facilitating the increasing participation of developing countries in trade in services has been enshrined in the preamble to the agreement and is based on the provisions of Article IV. In particular, this article obliges Members to negotiate specific commitments to strengthen the national service capacity of developing countries; Improving developing countries` access to distribution channels and information networks; and liberalizing market access in the areas of interest to these countries. The GATS foresees negotiations that will begin within five years in order to achieve a higher level of liberalization of trade in services. This liberalization will aim to strengthen the commitments set out in the timetables and reduce the negative effects of the measures taken by governments. The GATS expressly recognizes the right of members to regulate service delivery by pursuing their own policy objectives. However, the agreement contains provisions to ensure that service rules are managed appropriately, objectively and impartially.