The General Agreement on Trade in Services took effect with
establishment of the World Trade Organization on January 1, 1995.
Services cover a variety of sectors, each with distinct
characteristics. Services such as banking, insurance,
communications, transportation, and legal support are playing an
increasingly important role in world trade.
Services have become increasingly significant as intermediate
inputs and cost components in the world food system. Trade in
services has grown faster than merchandise trade in the past two
decades. Trade liberalization in the services sector could have
significant implications for the global food system.
As with agriculture, negotiations on services were already
almost 2 years old when they were incorporated into the Doha
Development Agenda. The aim of the GATS negotiations is to achieve
a progressively higher level of liberalization of trade in
Other Relevant Multilateral Agreements: