HL Deb 04 November 2002 vol 640 c52WA
Lord Hunt of Chesterton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will seek to ensure that, at the forthcoming World Trade Organisation negotiations, the opening of state services to international competition will be done on the basis of transparent and objective standards, while taking into account local traditions, cultures and needs, and that all countries abide by these rules. [HL6018]

The Minister for Trade (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean):

The current negotiations on trade in services at the World Trade Organisation aim at improving the economic development of all WTO member countries under conditions of transparency and progressive liberalisation. WTO members retain the right to regulate services within their territories in order to meet their own national policy objectives. This right is reaffirmed by all WTO members in the guidelines and procedures they have agreed for these negotiations. In making liberalisation commitments, WTO members are obliged to ensure that domestic regulatory measures they apply are administered in a reasonable, objective and impartial manner.