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Gats Negotiations

Volume 407: debated on Friday 20 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on (a) the GATS negotiations and (b) the advantages of full trade liberalisation as a means to achieving development goals. [119588]

[holding answer 18 June 2003]: The Government are working to ensure that GATS offers real benefits both to the UK, as the world's second largest exporter of services, and to developing country members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). We believe that the progressive, properly managed, liberalisation of services can stimulate economic growth and help reduce poverty. The World Bank estimates that a liberalising trade round could bring 300 million people out of poverty by 2015. Developing countries could increase their annual income by up to $60 billion for a relatively modest degree of services liberalisation. This is greater than total annual aid flows to developing countries ($50 billion).