The creation of the GATS was one of the key principles of the Uruguay Round, the results of which came into force in January 1995. The GATS was essentially inspired by the same objectives as its merchandise trade counterpart, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT): the creation of a credible and reliable system of international trade rules; Ensure fair and equitable treatment of all participants (principle of non-discrimination); boosting economic activity through guaranteed political ties; Promoting trade and development through gradual liberalization. The existence of specific commitments entails other obligations relating, among other things, to the notification of new measures having a significant impact on trade and the prevention of restrictions on international payments and transfers. See below the rules of market access and waiver of services The GATS explicitly recognizes the right of members to regulate the provision of services in pursuit of their own policy objectives. However, the agreement contains provisions to ensure that service rules are managed appropriately, objectively and impartially. On 15 April 1994, at the ministerial meeting in Marrakech, ministers from more than 100 countries signed the final act of Uruguay`s multilateral trade round. This is the end of the eighth round of GATT trade negotiations, which began in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in September 1986. As part of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement, the package includes agreements on topics as varied as agriculture, textiles, intellectual property and trade-related investment measures. And for the first time, the parties have established global rules on trade in services through the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The GATS is expected to enter into force with the WTO on 1 January 1995. LDC members have been given particular flexibility in terms of their commitments in the timetable of their services. Recently, the least developed countries have made more commitments.
The commitments contained in the GATS can be divided into two broad groups: general commitments that apply to all members and service sectors and commitments that apply only to sectors in a member`s commitment plan. These obligations are defined in individual timetables, the scope of which can vary considerably from one Member State to another. The relevant terms and concepts are similar, but not necessarily identical to those of the GATT; Domestic processing is, for example, a general obligation in trade in goods and non-negotiable as in the GATS.