Trade in Services

Surgeons perform a surgerical operation on a dog at UPM Veterinary Hospital in Serdang, Selangor,  June 23rd 2015.
(Photo: ASEC - Community Relations Division)
Passengers board an Air Asia airplane at Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Sabah, Malaysia, on June 30, 2015.
(Photo: ASEC - Community Relations Division)
Stockmarket traders monitor share prices and make sales transactions at the Philippine Stock Exchange in the financial district of Makati City, Manila, Philippines, on June 17, 2015.
(Photo: ASEC - Community Relations Division)

The AANZFTA, through the Chapter on Trade in Services, further improves on the commitments and obligations on services liberalization under the World Trade Organization (WTO). For instance, under the AANZFTA, Australia and New Zealand made General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)-plus and commercially meaningful commitments in a number of services sectors.

  • Australia opened up new opportunities for ASEAN service providers in the following sectors: legal services, nursing and midwifery, services to mining, communication services, educational services, environmental services, financial services, and transport services.
  • New Zealand created new opportunities in legal services, engineering services, veterinary services, construction services, educational services, environmental services and financial services.

Another significant outcome under the AANZFTA is the provision protecting investments of service suppliers via Mode 3 or commercial presence. Through a linkage provision, the protection elements under the Chapter on Investment will also apply to Mode 3 investments.

The AANZFTA also went beyond other GATS obligations in the following:

  • On transparency, the AANZFTA encourages publication of measures affecting trade in services via the internet, where possible; and provides reasonable opportunity, to the extent permissible, for interested Parties to provide comments on measures affecting trade in services.
  • On domestic regulations, the AANZFTA provides: recourse to services suppliers regarding their application; an opportunity to complete and remedy incomplete application; an opportunity to know the status of application upon request; and to the extent possible, an opportunity to be informed of the reason for termination or denial of application.
  • On administrative processes, the AANZFTA provides opportunity to service suppliers, to the extent provided under domestic laws, to present their facts and arguments in support of the position before any administrative action is taken.

Commitments of AANZFTA Parties on various services sectors enable service providers to enjoy greater market access and benefit from improved national treatment commitments. Parties also undertook additional commitments on financial and telecommunication services, recognising the critical role of these sectors in regional integration.

Read the Agreement: Chapter 8. Trade in Services and the its relevant annexes as follows:

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