Movement of Natural Persons

The study consists of an overview of the existing commitments on Mode 4 in the GATS schedules and an analysis of proposals, both general and sectoral, for the negotiation of further commitments relating to the movement of persons. The study identifies: (i) the extent to which the movement of persons in specific sectors or occupations proves a benefit to the economy and employment opportunities, especially for poorer people, (ii) those sectors of export interest where the movement of persons is essential to the export, (iii) barriers facing the movement of persons in these sectors in the main export markets, (iv) possible related aspects both positive, e.g., transfer of technology, and negative, e.g., brain drain, as well as broader downsides from a development perspective of general exodus of skill. Emphasis should also be given to identification of “win-win” labour services and modalities to operationalize these. The study includes a list of priority sectors and occupations, and requests for commitments in the context of rules relating to Mode 4 negotiations, as well as the form in which such request could be made. Suggestions for action at the national level to enhance the positive aspects of movement of persons and mitigate negative effects are also included.

Research team

Sanath Jayanetti
Priyanga Dunusinghe


United Nations Development Project

Published Year