Joint Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation in the WTO: The Case of Russia
In the World Trade Organization (WTO), the co-sponsors of the Joint Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation signed the Declaration at the conclusion of the negotiations. Incorporating disciplines developed by a group of members into the WTO rulebook is fraught with certain difficulties because of the plurilateral nature of the outcome and possible resistance from non-participating WTO members. Russia is a member of this initiative, which aims to reduce regulatory barriers to trade in services and does not address market access issues. Despite the significant role of the service sector in the economy, Russia faces systemic restrictions on increasing services trade, although the need to change the structure of foreign trade and diversify the economy has long been overdue. The paper argues that the implementation of disciplines in line with the common intention to improve domestic regulation will help improve Russia's trade in services performance and the business environment.