IPS continued its research on WTO Doha Negotiations under the Second Phase of the project with CUTS Centre for International Trade, Economics & Environment (CITEE) and other research partners from South Asia. In the current phase the major theme is “Domestic preparedness to face the challenges arising from a successful completion of the Doha Round.” The overall objective of this project is to generate negotiation inputs for trade negotiators and policy makers in the South Asian region whilst taking into account the positions of civil society on these issues when negotiating at the WTO. While Sri Lanka has not been active in services negotiations under the Doha Round of trade talks, it has engaged in negotiations on a bilateral basis, largely on the account of interests of other countries. So far, Sri Lanka has received requests from other countries in telecommunications, financial, educational and logistical services. There has not been any overt pressure to open up the services sector in the country and services negotiations seem to have been sidelined by negotiations in agriculture and NAMA. Nevertheless, when the round is finalized, it is likely that there will be requests for further liberalization of the services sector in countries like Sri Lanka. Thus, it would be crucial for the country to be prepared to undertake and implement any liberalization commitments made at the multilateral level. In this context, the IPS undertook a study entitled “Domestic Preparedness of Sri Lanka With Respect to Services Trade Liberalization: Case Study of the Telecom Sector.” The study focuses on the telecommunication sector as this sector has already been committed under GATS and there have been requests for Sri Lanka to further liberalize the sector under the current round of trade talks.
Domestic Preparedness of Sri Lanka with Respect to Trade in Services: A Case Study of the Telecom Sector
Deshal de Mel