In December 2013, WTO members successfully negotiated the 'Bali Package' which included steps on agriculture, food security, support for the least-developed countries, and the Trade Facilitation Agreement. In December 2015, at the Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, another package of major negotiated outcomes was adopted.
At the Eighth Ministerial Conference in 2011, WTO members adopted a waiver to allow preferential treatment for services and service suppliers from LDCs. Subsequently, the 2013 Bali Ministerial Decision established a process to encourage WTO members to make use of this waiver by notifying preferential treatment. As of March 2018, the WTO Council for Trade in Services has received a total of 24 notifications of preferences in favour of LDC services and service suppliers, on the part of 51 Members.
Waiver notifications have covered a wide range of sectors and all modes of supply, with an emphasis on services supplied through commercial presence (i.e. through establishments set up in the host market). Many notifications grant preferences to LDCs at a level similar to treatment that they grant to partners in their free trade arrangements.
Regarding the sectoral picture, some 90 per cent of notifications provide for preferences in business services, followed by transport services (80 per cent), tourism and travel services (76 per cent) and recreational, cultural and sporting services (60 per cent). All of the above sectors were specified by LDCs as sectors of special interest to them. All notifications provide for preferences for the supply of services through commercial presence, and 80 per cent for cross-border supply. More than half of the notifications also contain preferences with regard to movement of natural persons (Mode 4), an issue of particular interest to LDCs.