Synergies of UNCTAD's Work for Trade and Migration

Each of the focus areas of our work on trade and migration builds on synergies with broader UNCTAD work.

Trade, the trading system and migration

UNCTAD is represented in the meetings of the WTO Services Council and subsidiary bodies, and follows-up on their proposals and deliberations.

The multidimensional linkages of trade and migration are also supported by UNCTAD's work in trade policy and negotiations, including in Trade Policy Frameworks Reviews and also in the Doha Development Agenda and on its services dimension which comprised trade through the movement of persons under the GATS.

This work also focuses on regional integration processes, including contributing to discussions and negotiations on the African CFTA. This comprises services liberalization including the supply of services through the movement of persons.

This focus area is further supported by UNCTAD's work on trade, employment and development, including the global study on "The impact of trade and trade agreements on employment in developing countries" and country case-studies on Ecuador, Senegal and South-Africa.

Services economy and trade and migration

UNCTAD has been supporting LDCs in the context of the Doha round services negotiations, to pursue development benefits from the current waiver enabling WTO members to provide preferential market access to services and service suppliers of LDCs to their markets. This can be viewed as an opportunity for development and better mobility.

UNCTAD has also analysed several proposals discussed at the WTO with potential impact on the movement of persons under the GATS, including the proposal on possible elements of an agreement on trade facilitation in services analysed at UNCTAD's Global Services Forum in July 2016.

UNCTAD's Services Policy Reviews (SPRs) also support countries in these linkages, by providing a thorough and customized analysis of the services economy and trade, with a methodology that addresses all relevant modes of trading services including Mode 4.

As such, SPRs present policy options to promote the development benefits of services provided by these temporary migrants, including through the best use of economic integration and cooperation and trade agreements, at bilateral, regional and international levels. This encompasses inter alia processes in Bangladesh, Paraguay, and Peru. The SPR of Bangladesh in particular contains an in-depth analysis of labour force exports.

Financial inclusion, digital financial services and migrant's remittances

UNCTAD has supported members' endeavours in fostering financial inclusion and its development contribution to migrants and remittances through SPRs, taking stock of the linkages between financial inclusion and remittances, trade and development implications of financial services, digital financial services, multi-year expert meetings on services, trade and development, and the Global Services Forum. SPRs in particular have a focus on infrastructure services, including on financial services, as it has been the case for e.g. Paraguay and Nicaragua.

This focus includes the regulatory objective of universal access and acknowledges the important development potential of financial services and financial inclusion for migration.


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