Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Negotiations on Audiovisual Services at WTO: “We express great concern over efforts by some key participants in the negotiations to create an a priori exclusion for such an important sector”

Council for Trade in Services, WTO, June 30, 2005 – 2005/06/30

In this Joint Statement on the Negotiations on Audiovisual Services dated 30 June 2005 and which is being circulated to members of the Council for Trade in Services, the delegations of Hong Kong China, Japan, Mexico, the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, and United States declare “We express great concern over efforts by some key participants in the negotiations to create an a priori exclusion for such an important sector. This is inconsistent with the Negotiating Guideline for the services negotiations of the DDA and with the full and open dialog on which this institution is based.” As such, they “urge all members to consider carefully the broad economic benefits from including audiovisual commitments in their offers. Above all, trade in audiovisual services results in cultural exchange, the best way to promote cultural diversity.”

From this standpoint, the delegations notably maintain that “audiovisual services, like all services under the GATS, are an integral part of the services negotiations. They play a valuable role in supporting national economies and international trade, especially in developing countries. Trade rules that promote transparency and stability can further open significant regional and global opportunities for exchanges of audiovisual services.” According to these delegations, “opening the market for audiovisual services benefits the domestic industry by introducing new technologies, which have in turn led to the development of a multitude of new services. These new technologies also increase use of the network, helping to create an environment that will encourage investment in the digital networks of tomorrow." [05-23]