Japan, Other WTO Members Agree on Services Trade Rules

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 3 (Jiji Press)--Sixty-seven World Trade Organization members including Japan have agreed on rules to make their licensing procedures for foreign services providers more transparent, the trade ministry said Friday.

The deal, concluded at a meeting of ambassador-level officials in Geneva on Thursday, is expected to boost investment because providers of retail, transport, construction and other services will find it easier to expand into the other economies.

The 67 economies, also including the United States and China, account for more than 90 pct of the world's services trade though they are a minority in the 164-member WTO.

"The international business environment is expected to improve," trade minister Koichi Hagiuda told a news conference Friday.

Under the rules, the signatories will be required to disclose reasons if they reject licensing applications from foreign services providers and announce details before introducing new regulations. The rules will apply to the areas the signatories agree to liberalize.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press