Project Title

Capacity Building Workshop on a Negative List Approach - Some Specific Issues when Transitioning from Positive List to Negative List 

Project Year

2018   

Project Number

GOS 01 2018T 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

GOS 01 2018T 

Project Title

Capacity Building Workshop on a Negative List Approach - Some Specific Issues when Transitioning from Positive List to Negative List 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

TILF Special Account 

Sub-fund

None 

Project Year

2018 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

131,626 

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

131,626 

Sponsoring Forum

Group on Services (GOS) 

Topics

Services Trade 

Committee

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Other Fora Involved

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Japan 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Australia; Canada; Chile; China; Indonesia; Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; United States; Viet Nam 

Expected Start Date

01/10/2018 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2019 

Project Proponent Name 1

Maki Kuwabara 

Job Title 1

Official, Services Trade Division 

Organization 1

Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

Postal Address 1

2-2-1, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 

Telephone 1

(81-3) 55018000 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

maki.kuwabara@mofa.go.jp 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Maki Kuwabara 

Project Summary

This project is one of the activities under the Action Plan Framework for Regional Economic Integration (REI) Capacity Building Needs Initiative (CBNI) since 2012 which entailed discussion on transitioning positive list into negative list.

a)  Planned activities include a one-day workshop on: 

i) analysis of the relationship between existing and future potential domestic regulations and relevant obligations in FTAs;

ii)  discussion on transitioning to negative list and sharing best practices; and

iii) Q&A session.

b)  Proposed agenda:

i)  Lectures from some of APEC member economies on transitioning from positive list into negative list

-  advantage of negative list, relationship with relevant obligations of FTAs, etc.

ii) Discussion among economies on related issues based on sample questionnaires.

-  Benefits to economies: Better understanding of the process of the transition will enhance economies' negotiation capability with regard to listing of trade in services offers, especially for economies that have never adopted a negative list.

iii) Filling out the survey to share their impression on the workshop

Timing and Location: To be decided.

Relevance

Relevance – Region: Understanding negative list approach in services trade negotiations is important not only for further liberalization but also for predictability and transparency. Nevertheless, the positive list approach, adopted in General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), still tends to be preferred and many APEC member economies have not adopted negative lists in their FTAs yet. 

A positive list is a list which specifies sectors subject to liberalizing commitments. An economy lists the sectors and related limitations only when the economy commits to do so basically in accordance with its domestic laws and regulations or its policies. On the other hand, a negative list is a list describing measures with which the economy cannot fulfil the obligations in the core text of FTA, or needs to reserve a policy space in order to protect the economies’ core policy interest. Everything else that is not described in the list is considered to be committed liberalization. The positive list is traditional in Services, but the negative list is becoming common.

One of the main reasons for this tendency is that there are few opportunities to receive capacity building on understanding and knowledge on the negative list approach. In addition, the negative list approach requires different knowledge and capabilities from the positive list approach: in relation to the obligation in core service text or investment chapter, etc. 

Given the growing importance of competitiveness and further liberalization in services sectors, as indicated in the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap (2016-2025), it is useful for all member economies to obtain proper knowledge and capabilities of taking negative list approach. With the aim of deepening understanding on the negative list approach, some workshops have been held in the past. This project will also contribute to implementation of the objective of Capacity Building Needs Initiative (CBNI) by reducing the gap of capacity among APEC member economies. 

Making the best of the workshops in the past, this project will mainly deal with transition of positive list into negative list including technical aspects, taking into consideration that some FTAs envisage such transition. One of the key essence of this transition is that it should not lower the level of liberalization and the relationship with relevant obligations of core text (market access, national treatment, local presence, Senior Management and Boards of Directors (SMBDs), etc). Since there is no well-established theory on transition, it is helpful for all APEC member economies to share their knowledge, and experience. We understands that there are a lot of questions/confusion from economies/non-economies who only have knowledge of positive list  with regards to evaluating and comparing the level of liberalization of positive list and negative list. Some of delegates misunderstood relationship with Annex I (existing measures) and II (future measures) of negative list. Some economies/non-economies believes that such economy/non-economy can have policy space even if their measures are stipulated in Annex I. Although there is no well-established theory on transition as already mentioned above in this paragraph, this project expects to provide economies with essence to evaluate and compare the two different approach (i.e. positive list and negative list), and also one of the theory why the level of liberalization under negative list approach is to be greater than that under positive list approach. 

This project is expected to contribute to increase economies’ knowledge and capabilities on negative list approach, and expected to give economies an option to adopt negative list approach in future negotiations on FTA/EPAs. As a result, this project enhances APEC’s sustainable competitiveness in services sector. 

Relevance – Eligibility: This is strongly related to services, which is listed in Part 1 of the Osaka Action Agenda especially with the transparency principle which stipulates an open and predictable trade and investment environment. Also, this project will be able to give options to mitigate restrictions on services market access as indicated specifically in the Agenda. Basically by adopting negative list, the level of liberalization would be higher than positive list based on a principle “everything else not listed in negative list is considered as liberalized and reserve only core policy interest”. Once economies experience how to transit positive list into negative list, they can have options to modify the commitments of existing FTAs/EPAs. 

Relevance – Capacity Building: Key issues of a negative list approach were lectured in past projects proposed by Peru, Korea and Australia. Since there is no well-established theory on transition without lowering the level of liberalization, this project will build the capacity by sharing knowledge, and experience. Our project intends to provide one step further approach on positive/negative lists. Obtaining the knowledge from  this workshop expecting to focus on sharing  our knowledge on the essence to evaluate and compare the positive list and negative list based on prior questionnaires, this will be able to be one of the background of economies to apply negative list approach in future negotiations. Since we are planning to especially focus on the Q&As, most participants are expected to make a lot of efforts on the questionnaires.

Objectives

The main objective of this project is to enhance knowledge and capabilities of APEC member economies by:

- understanding the relationship between negative list approach and obligations on EPA/FTAs; and

- understanding how to draft a negative list from a positive list.

Alignment

Alignment - APEC:  In the Declaration of the APEC Economic Leaders in 2017, it is clearly stated to “Create New Drivers for Regional Economic Integration” by “Advancing Free and Open Trade and Investment.” This project proposal intends to share specific methods and to build capacity for economies which aligns well with “further actions to increase APEC’s competitiveness in services sector.” 

Alignment – Forum: The Group on Services was established in 1997 to address trade and investment liberalization and facilitation tasks in the area of services. In APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap (2016-2025), which was committed in 2016 regarding to its cooperative framework, one of the factors which enable to meet with the targets set out in the Roadmap is by undertaking capacity building activities.

The key objective of this project is to enhance further liberalization not only for upcoming FTAs, but also for existing FTAs using a transition approach. With a better understanding of the transition and the relationship with relevant obligations of the core text, economies which have adopted negative lists in their FTAs, at a better position to improve the level of liberalisation. Therefore, establishing a common framework, or at least sharing a common understanding, this project will be valuable for all members engaging in services trade negotiations.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: We will provide a one-day workshop focusing on how negative list could be transitioned into positive list. Prior to the workshop, we will request project participants to answer some questionnaires in order to check how well the participants understand the transitioning approach and what the concerns of the participants are.

We will also prepare some specific examples of positive and negative list adopted by some economies in their past FTAs. We may provide examples of Japan-Mongolia FTA, Japan-EU FTA, CPTPP. We can also touch upon some ASEAN FTAs. By sharing and analyzing specific examples, we expect to have more practical and constructive discussions compared to not just lecturing principles and not sharing specific examples. These lectures are provided mainly by candidates from Japan.

After the workshop, we would like to submit a Project Report including a summary and Q&As as well recommendations of this survey within 5 pages (excluding appendixes of documents used in the workshop) will be submitted to GOS and CTI.


Tentative Programe: 

9.00 - 9.10

Opening Remarks

9.10 – 10.30

Session 1: Analysis of negative list (advantages/disadvantages, relationship between obligations on FTAs, etc)

10.30 – 10.45

Coffee Break

10.45 – 12.30

Session 2 : Ways to draft negative list from positive list

12.30 – 14.00

Lunch

14.00 – 16.00

Session 3 : Discussions and Q&As based on prior questionnaires

16 :00 – 16 :15

Coffee Break

16.15 – 18.00

Session 3 : Discussions and Q&As based on prior questionnaires (continuation)

Outcomes: One of the anticipated outcomes of the workshop will be increased and enhanced knowledge of negative list approach. As the participants of this workshop are likely to be representatives or delegates who are directly involved in negotiations on trade in services, it is expected that they would challenge new approaches aiming for further liberalization as a result of increased and enhanced knowledge. Economies that are willing to negotiate for further liberalization not only for future FTAs but also for existing FTAs adopting positive list, they would be able to propose transitioning positive list into negative list. 

Beneficiaries: The direct project participants, as well as users of the outputs are representatives or delegates who are involved in negotiations on trade in services. Through this project, they will have a chance to learn and share best practices for their future FTA negotiations. The project is planned to provide a chance to consider how the further liberalization would be provided, by using the transitioning approach, to APEC member economies/Non- APEC member economies. And one of the crucial methods is a negative list approach, which was provided in the past projects by Peru, Korea and Australia. This project includes supplemental components, in some way, of the past projects proposed by the said economies as the past projects are mainly lectures on what the negative list is and how to adopt the negative list (the past projects are intended to provide knowledge when economies adopt negative list from the starting point of FTA negotiations) Further liberalization on services sectors will drive positively to economics of member economies. In that sense, beneficiaries also could be all services related industries and their stakeholders.

Dissemination

The best way to disseminate outputs of the project is to put relevant resources into practical use. Namely, adopting negative list approach or revising positive list into negative list through transitioning methods would enhance momentum for further liberalization among economies/non-economies. It is also encouraged that the economies share the report and materials used in the workshop with relevant Ministries and Authorities. We expect the participants to pioneer share the knowledge with their colleagues. 

We will also submit the workshop’s report and materials used in the workshop to be available in electronic format. The result of the survey will be included in the workshop’s report in the form of picking up several comments anonymously among economies. We expect those to be an APEC Publication and reside on the APEC website, so interested persons such as persons who are in charge of FTA Services negotiations but could not participate the workshop or persons who are in charge of investment or other chapters could benefit from this study.

Gender

This project includes supplemental components of the past negative list approach projects. We expect as many female participants as those in the past projects. Namely, we are committed to ensuring female engagement in the project event, and will set a target of 50% female speakers/experts and participants.  If we are not able to meet this target for female speakers/experts, we will note this in the project report and suggest that the lack of female experts in this area be a topic of future focus for GOS. 

PO is committed to collect sex disaggregated data for all speakers and participants (not only the APEC funded) at the project event. This data will be included when submitting a Completion Report to the Secretariat at the completion of the project.achieved as well as giving future POs guidance on their own gender parity targets.

Work Plan

Date

Tasks

Deliverables

by November 2018

Study and organize practices of positive/negative lists of some economies.

Deciding the venue and the company who in charge of arranging air ticket or other arrangement.

Results from the study

Venue

by December 2018

Invite speakers and participants for the

workshop.

List of participants and list of speakers

by January 2019

Circulate questionnaires to participants.

Finalizing the Agenda

-

Finalized agenda

by February 2019

Collecting the questionnaires

Analyzing and drafting the paper to share the results

Finalizing the presentation materials

Results of the questionnaires

(the points which economies are lacking knowledge would become clear)

By March 2019

Hold of 1 day workshop.

Results of the survey

by April 2019

Drafting and circulation of the completed report.

Draft report to share the experience of this workshop

by May 2019

Endorse and submission the completion report of the project to GOS and CTI.

Report to share the experience of this workshop

by September 2019

Long Term Evaluation by the Secretariat

Evaluation of this project

Risks

1) Ensure the participation of speakers: Identifying and inviting speakers who have sufficient experiences in negative list approach and negotiation of trade in services could affect outcomes of this project. We will circulate a letter of invitation in advance and ensure the participation of qualified speakers. 

2) Adequate preparation to engage in the workshop: In this workshop, we will ask participants to practice transitioning approach from positive into negative list. In order to grow understanding of the participants deeper, we will seek to use the actual laws or regulations of some economies as examples. With regard to this, several laws or regulations will be circulated in advance to the participants. The participants are expected to read and understand the contents of the circulated papers. 

3) Difference in levels of knowledge and experience: To make this project efficient to all participants, we will prepare some questionnaires on negative list approach to check their knowledge and experience. We will consider how we could improve satisfaction of the participants based on the answers of the questionnaires. 

4) Ensure sufficient number of participants: In addition to the normal nomination process, we would ask our counterparts of existing or on-going FTAs economies/non-economies. Also, we would like other members to share experiences of other capacity building projects such as ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement (ATISA).

Monitoring and Evaluation

In order to improve satisfaction of participants and measure progress of the workshop, we will prepare some questionnaires on negative list approach to check whether participants truly understand how to make transition into negative list. At the end of the workshop, we will ask participants to share their impression on the workshop. 

As one of the indicators, we would like to set that over 50% of APEC funded economies are participated.

We will submit a summary paper of this survey to the GOS and CTI which will be incorporated into the final report. We are also open to upload documents we use in the workshop such as methods of transitioning, questionnaires and those answers of the participants, Q&As, etc.  to APEC Publication Database in order to share the insights with non-participants.

Linkages

This project supplements past projects proposed by Peru, Korea and Australia. The past projects had aimed to address key issues of a negative list approach, while this project is focusing on the transition process. When APEC member economies/Non-APEC member economies grasp the merits and demerits of both lists as well as transitioning methods, they could ensure the best way of approach for further liberalization.

We are planning to invite not only APEC member economies but also non-APEC member economies and stakeholders such as WTO, OECD, etc.

Sustainability

The goal of this project is to enhance further liberalization in services negotiation among both APEC economies and non-economies. The project is just the first step to achieve the goal, and the outcomes and impacts of the project will become apparent after a certain period of time. However, the progress could be seen in the changes of approach regarding future negotiations of the economies. We would support as much as possible even after the workshop by having contacts through emails. Also, by publishing the documents we used in the workshop as well as the Final Report on APEC Website, the interested persons may find the key essences of transitioning approach. Since the timing of facing the needs of transitioning method differs among economies/non-economies, it is meaningful to make it possible whenever the economies/non-economies want to seek.

Project Overseers

At the moment, Maki KUWABARA of the Government of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Services Trade Division is the project overseer. She is currently negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) services chapter for Japan.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

To handle all logistics and most of administrative arrangements for the workshop, we would like to request short-term clerical fees.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

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Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

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