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Published on May 7, 2008

Author: Biaggia


Telecom Sector & GATS :  Telecom Sector & GATS Today’s purpose: How to use the WTO forum to expand business opportunities of HK telecom service providers. Part I: Telecom negotiations in GATS Part II: Private sector’s wish list Part I: Telecom Negotiation in GATS :  Part I: Telecom Negotiation in GATS Define telecom services in GATS Basic Telecommunications Agreement (BTA) Define Telecom Services in GATS :  Define Telecom Services in GATS 15 subsectors divided into: Basic telecom services - simple relay of info in real time from end to end Value-added services - telecom provider adds value to customers’ info by enhancing its form or content Others Basic Telecom Agreement:  Basic Telecom Agreement Signed in Feb 1997 Came into effect in Feb 1998 69 signatory WTO countries represent over 90% of the basic telecom market worldwide Coverage of BTA :  Coverage of BTA encompasses local, long distance, & international services for public and non-public uses transmitted over facilities-based or through resale (private leased circuit) provided through any means of technology (e.g. cable, wireless, satellites, stationary or non-stationary means) Components of BTA:  Components of BTA Specific commitments from individual countries Annex on telecommunications Reference Paper Specific Commitments (Basic & Value-added):  Specific Commitments (Basic & Value-added) 83 and 70 WTO members have made commitments in telecom and value-added services respectively. Breath of coverage: - 65% at least 10 subsectors - 25% between 14-15 subsectors Annex on Telecommunications:  Annex on Telecommunications Motivation: Telecom services are important input into the supply of other services. Adequate access to and use of public telecom transport network & services (PTTNS) are essential conditions to guarantee market access to all service sectors. Annex on Telecommunications (cont.) :  Annex on Telecommunications (cont.) Each WTO member is required to allow foreign firms access to and use of PTTNS on a reasonable and “non-discriminatory” basis when they take advantage of ANY GATS commitments made by this member. MFN and national treatment Reference Paper:  Reference Paper Set up pro-competitive principle competitive safeguard interconnection transparent licensing criteria independent regulator allocation of scarce resources universal safeguard Summary of Telecom Commitments :  Summary of Telecom Commitments Value-added services more open Common limitations on market access (mostly on commercial presence) number of suppliers types of legal entity or joint venture foreign equity ownership Part II: Private Sector’s Wish List :  Part II: Private Sector’s Wish List Information technology (IT) telecom services information services Telecom Services: Countries of Interest:  Telecom Services: Countries of Interest Information Services: Countries of Interest:  Information Services: Countries of Interest Telecom Services: Businesses of Interest:  Telecom Services: Businesses of Interest Telecom Services: Major Wishes:  Telecom Services: Major Wishes Commercial presence requirements relax restrictions on foreign ownership, operating licence and scope of business (top 3) Immigration and visa streamline application, relax quota and duration of foreign visa Market infrastructure simplify domestic regulations, enforce intellectual property law Improve transparency court rulings, set up inquiry point Information Services: Businesses of Interest:  Information Services: Businesses of Interest Information Services: Major Wishes :  Information Services: Major Wishes Improve transparency Set up EDI (1), court rulings, set up inquiry point Market infrastructure E-commerce regulations (3), relax restrictions on marketing channels, simplify domestic regulations Commercial presence requirements Relax restrictions on foreign ownership and scope of business (2) The End:  The End

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