The Meeting is being convened on the basis of a decision taken by the Commission on Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities at its first session on 8 November 1996 . The provisional agenda, together with the secretariat´s annotations thereto, has been circulated as document TD/B/COM.1/EM.1/1.
In connection with the main substantive item, entitled "International trade in health services: difficulties and opportunities for developing countries", the experts will analyse and discuss a series of questions such as:
- the structural changes which have been taking place in the health services sector in both developed and developing countries and the opportunities presented for increased international trade in health services, including for developing countries;
- how trade in health services is being carried out through the four modes of supply identified in GATS Article I, i.e. movement of natural persons as suppliers, movement of consumers, commercial presence and cross-border trade, as well as the developmental implications of trade under each mode and the barriers facing such trade;
- the strategies used by certain Governments and enterprises to increase their participation in world trade in health services; and
- the possibility that increased trade in health services may, under certain conditions, not only provide export income but also serve to strengthen the national health services sector, noting that the question of the acceptable limits to competition in the light of social considerations is probably more pertinent in the case of trade in health services than for other service sectors.
In accordance with paragraph 114 of "A Partnership for Growth and Development" (TD/378) adopted by UNCTAD IX, experts should be nominated by Governments, should have proven experience, and will serve the expert meeting in their personal capacities. Participation in expert meetings can be from the academic world, public and private sectors and NGOs.
The UNCTAD secretariat has prepared a background note to facilitate the experts´ discussions, circulated under the symbol TD/B/COM.1/EM.1/2.