The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) is a services-only trade agreement being negotiated in Geneva among a subset of WTO Members, jointly led by Australia, the European Union and the United States. There are currently 23 TiSA parties (50 economies), which account for around 70 per cent of global services trade. TiSA will address barriers to international services trade and promote the expansion of Australia’s services exports.
About the Trade in Services Agreement
The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) is designed to set a new international standard in services liberalisation, feeding into future multilateral negotiations. The proposed disciplines draw on established services and investment provisions in existing free trade agreements (FTAs). The TiSA is still under negotiation.
The structure of the TiSA has been designed to build on the World Trade Organization (WTO) General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) while also incorporating elements from FTAs that have a higher level of ambition.
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.
About the TiSA negotiations
The negotiations cover key services sectors including:
- financial services
- professional services
- transport services
- delivery services
- energy and mining-related services
- temporary entry of business people
- new rules on domestic regulation to remove regulatory barriers to trade.
TiSA market snapshot
- 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 per cent (2015)
- TiSA % of Australian services trade: 57.8 per cent (2015)
- TiSA % of world GDP: 65 per cent (2015)
Australia and the services sector
The services sector:
- represents 70 per cent of Australia’s economic activity (GDP)
- employs four out of five Australians
- accounts for 21.6 per cent of Australia’s total exports (2016)
- contributes 40 per cent of our value-added export earnings (using a value-add methodology [PDF 56 KB]).
Australia and the TiSA
Australia has a strong interest in services trade reform. Our objective in the negotiations is to deliver improved access and commercial benefits for the Australian services sector including:
- addressing discriminatory barriers to cross-border services trade
- improving investment conditions for Australian business seeking to establish an offshore commercial presence
- improving business mobility so Australian services professionals can easily work in TiSA countries
- guaranteeing current levels of market openness, providing greater certainty for operators in foreign markets and addressing behind the border barriers.