June 2008

Ensuring Temporariness: Mechanisms to Incentivise Return Migration in the Context of GATS Mode 4 and Least Developed Country Interests

During the Doha negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO), least developed countries (LDCs) have expressed a strong interest in increasing possibilities for their nationals to work as service providers in other countries. In the WTO, this is discussed in the context of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) under the heading known as Mode 4 – the presence of natural persons.

Trade negotiators and politicians from the US and EU argue that GATS Mode 4 is unworkable, particularly for semi-skilled and unskilled service providers, if source countries cannot guarantee the return (and hence the ‘temporariness’) of their service providers working abroad.

This paper examines different countries’ experiences and finds evidence that many migrant workers do desire to return to their home countries, and conditions and opportunities to help them to do so are a major factor in encouraging their return.


Countries / Regions: 

Related Files