When it comes to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), businesses are categorized based on the type of service they provide. However, there are certain types of businesses that do not fit into any specific category. In this article, we explore who these businesses are and how they can navigate the world of trade in services.
The GATS is a treaty that governs international trade in services. It was created in 1995 as part of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Its goal is to promote the liberalization of trade in services between countries. Under the GATS, services are divided into four categories: cross-border supply, consumption abroad, commercial presence, and presence of natural persons.
Businesses that provide services fall under these categories. For example, a business that provides legal services would fall under the commercial presence category if it has an office in another country. If it provides legal advice remotely, it would fall under the cross-border supply category.
However, there are certain types of businesses that do not fit into any of these categories. These businesses include:
1. Digital Services
Digital services are services that are provided over the internet. These may include online marketplaces, social media platforms, streaming services, and more. Since digital services are not easily categorized, they have been a subject of debate in the world of trade.
Startups are businesses that are in the early stages of development. They may be too small to have a physical presence in another country or provide services remotely. As such, they may not fit into any of the categories defined by the GATS.
3. Non-Profit Organizations
Non-profit organizations provide services that are usually not done for profit. As such, they may not have a commercial presence in another country or fit into any of the other categories defined by the GATS.
Freelancers provide services independently and may not have a commercial presence in another country. As such, they may not fit into any of the categories defined by the GATS.
So, what can these businesses do to navigate the world of trade in services? One option is to lobby for a new category that recognizes their unique position. Another option is to seek clarification from the WTO on how they can participate in international trade.
In conclusion, while the GATS provides a framework for international trade in services, there are certain types of businesses that do not fit into any specific category. These businesses must navigate the world of trade carefully and seek clarification on their status to participate in international trade.