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Trade and Migration

Building Bridges for Global Labour Mobility

By Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD

Current WTO service negotiations include a provision that would allow skilled individuals to move temporarily to other countries where their services are needed. This proposal to liberalize current migration laws—known as mode 4—is driven by the potential for substantial benefits: increased trade and investment; strengthened global business networks; reduction of the shortage of skills in developed countries; and increased export capacity of skilled labor in developing countries. Stumbling blocks remain, however. What is the impact of temporary movement on domestic labor markets in developed countries? Does mode 4 contribute to “brain drain” in developing countries? And what are the links between mode 4 and the sensitive issue of how countries regulate the entry of foreigners into their territory? Building on a recent groundbreaking OECD/IOM/World Bank seminar, Trade and Migration considers these questions and examines the opportunities and challenges in the current debate as they relate to mode 4 and the current WTO services negotiations. The book explores possible ways for building greater understanding between the trade and migration policy communities on this important and timely issue. It suggests ways to unleash the potential of the temporary movement of service suppliers to bring significant gains to developed and developing countries alike.

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