Liberalisation of trade in services is currently not progressing under the Doha round of trade negotiations. Instead, plurilateral and regional agreements have currently become the most common way to advance liberalisation and co-operation. In relation to this, the European Commission recently requested a mandate from the Council to engage in negotiations on a new plurilateral international agreement on trade in services (ISA).
But how can it be explained that countries are more inclined to grant further openness in their service sectors while negotiating outside the multilateral framework? What are the economic and political forces that motivate countries to undertake more far-reaching commitments in their regional trade agreements whereas other countries are holding them back?
ECIPE invites you to a seminar with Erik van der Marel, Fellow at the LSE and ECIPE Research Associate, who will present his recent paper on the factors behind stronger commitments in regional and plurilateral services agreements. Comments will be provided by Mr Lucian Cernat, Head of Unit, Chief Economist and Trade Analysis at DG Trade, European Commission.