Possible Solutions to GATS E-Services Classification

Trade in services represents an ever-growing portion of international transactions. The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) defines the trade in services as the supply of a service through any of the following four modes: (a) cross border supply, (b) consumption abroad, (c) commercial presence, and (d) presence of natural persons. Under GATS, the four modes of supply are not limited by means of delivery. As a result, there is no exception in GATS for the supply of services via e-commerce and GATS applies to e-commerce.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What are the criteria for resolving the e-services classification problem?
Does the making of identical commitments and the combination of Mode 1 and Mode 2 ameliorate the ambiguities relating to GATS e-service classification?
What are the possible solutions or proposals for the resolution of ambiguities relating to GATS e-service classification?

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