Trade in Services Agreement

TiSA market snapshot (including Australia)

  • GDP: US$49.96 trillion (2015)
  • GDP per capita: US$29,594 (2015)
  • Population: 1.620 billion (2015)
  • Services trade with Australia: AU$82.171 billion (2015)
  • TiSA % of world services trade: 70% (2015)
  • TiSA % of Australian services trade: 57.8% (2015)
  • TiSA % of world GDP: 65% (2015)

World map with TiSA parties highlighted.

View a larger version of this map

About the TiSA negotiations

The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) is a services-only trade agreement jointly led by Australia, the European Union and the United States.

Australia has a strong interest in progressing services trade reform, both in terms of improved services market access commitments and as a way to generate momentum in multilateral negotiations more broadly. The services sector now accounts for almost three quarters of Australia’s GDP and is estimated to have generated more than AU$100 billion in value-added export earnings in 2015. Using a value-add methodology [PDF 56 KB], services contribute 40 per cent of our value-added export earnings.

The TiSA is an opportunity to address barriers to international trade in services that are impeding the expansion of Australia’s services exports.

Our objective in the negotiations is to deliver improved access and tangible commercial benefits for Australia’s services sector, including:

  • addressing discriminatory barriers to cross-border services trade
  • improving investment conditions for Australian business seeking to establish an offshore commercial presence, and
  • improving business mobility so Australian services professionals can more easily work in TiSA countries.

The TiSA will set a new standard in services trade commitments in a multilateral setting.  It aims to capture the progress that has been made through unilateral liberalisation and in free trade agreements outside the multilateral system.

The TiSA negotiations also provide an opportunity to develop new disciplines (or trade rules) in areas where there have been significant developments since the WTO Uruguay Round negotiations.

The negotiations cover key services sectors, including financial services, telecommunications and e-commerce, professional services, transport services, delivery services, energy services, temporary entry of business persons, government procurement and new rules on domestic regulation to ensure regulatory settings do not operate as a barrier to trade.

The 23 TiSA parties currently comprise: Australia, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, European Union (representing its 28 Member States), Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mauritius, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States.

At an informal meeting of TiSA party ministers in Davos, Switzerland on 23 January 2016, ministers agreed to aim to conclude negotiations by the end of 2016.

Key interests and benefits

  • TiSA parties collectively account for around 70 per cent of global trade in services.
  • Six of the TiSA Parties were in Australia’s top ten destinations for services exports in 2014-15 – the United States, United Kingdom (as part of EU), New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong and Republic of Korea.
  • The services sector is a key part of the Australian economy – it represents 70 per cent of Australia’s economic activity, employs four out of five Australians and accounts for 20.9 per cent of Australia’s total exports.
  • The TiSA will benefit Australian service suppliers by guaranteeing current levels of market openness, providing greater certainty for operators in foreign markets and addressing behind the border barriers.
  • As participation expands, the TiSA could offer significant additional benefits for Australian business if countries from our region join and liberalise to meet the level of ambition.

Consultations

As part of the Australian Government’s ongoing public consultation process, in 2016 consultations on the TiSA were held in: Canberra on 30 August; Sydney on 7 September; Melbourne from 8 – 9 September; and, Sydney on 5 April. In 2015 public consultations were held in: Sydney on 11 March; Brisbane on 12 March; and Melbourne on 17 March. In 2014 public consultations were conducted in: Melbourne on 18 March; Sydney on 20 March; Perth on 29 May; Adelaide on 30 May; and, Canberra on 12 June. In 2013 public consultations were held in: Canberra on 17 June; Sydney on 16 July; and Melbourne on 19 July. Other locations will be scheduled as the negotiations progress.

ICTSD: TiSA Public Information Session and Discussion

The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) hosted a public information session on the TiSA in Geneva on 30 April 2014.

The session featured presentations by Australian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO, Hamish McCormick, United States Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO, Michael Punke, and EU Chief TiSA Negotiator, Ignacio Iruarrizaga Diez.

A video of the event can be viewed on the ICTSD website.


Contact us

  • Email: TiSA@dfat.gov.au
  • Fax: +61 2 6261 2927
  • Mail:
    Services Trade and Negotiations Section
    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
    R.G. Casey Building
    John McEwen Crescent
    Barton ACT 0221

For media enquiries, please call DFAT's Media Liaison Section: (02) 6261 1555.

Last Updated: 1 November 2016