The seminar was a follow-up to the 12 -14 November 2003 trade and migration seminar organized by the OECD, IOM and the World Bank. The 2003 event brought together for the first time trade and migration officials from 98 countries and from a wide range of international organizations, as well as representatives of business and civil society, for an informal exchange of views in a non-negotiating environment on the relationship between migration and trade. It focused on the relationship between migration and the supply of services via the temporary movement across borders of natural persons, or "Mode 4" of the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).


While Mode 4 has emerged as a major issue in the current WTO negotiations, it raises a number of important and difficult issues beyond the sphere of trade policy into the realm of migration policy and practices. The 2003 seminar provided an important opportunity to begin building greater understanding between the trade and migration policy communities of the issues, opportunities and challenges related to Mode 4 movement. More needs to be done.

The 4-5 October 2004 seminar has explored in greater depth and detail some of the key issues identified in the 2003 seminar as requiring further work by the trade and migration communities together.


The 2004 agenda looked at what can be learned from the actual experience of governments in managing the movement of people for mode 4 of the GATS, and balanced issues of interest to both trade and migration authorities. Building on the work initiated at the seminar in 2003, this seminar delved in greater detail into the policy, legislative and procedural aspects of government practice at the national, regional and multilateral level in managing GATS mode 4-related movement of persons. The two days of the agenda were structured around a few key issues.

4 October 2004

The first day set the scene by exploring the trade and migration contexts, with an update on mode 4 and a look at policy and implementation issues in managing the movement and temporary stay of labour migrants. This was followed by an exploration of national, unilateral approaches to managing movement and temporary stay of workers. The afternoon explored practice under bilateral agreements, including existing labour migration and trade agreements, followed by an exploration of practice under existing regional labour migration and trade agreements.

5 October 2004

The second day continued the discussion on experience under existing regional agreements and then explored national implementation of international trade obligations, at the regional and global level. This was followed by presentations from important constituent groups, namely employer and union representatives, on the issues of concern for these communities and how to ensure that they are adequately addressed. The afternoon focused on where we go from here, including through a specific exploration of the implications for mode 4 of what has been learned from the practical experience of managing the movement of temporary workers gleaned over the course of the seminar.

Session I: Trade and Migration Contexts: Setting the Scene
  • Movement of Natural Persons Under the GATS
    • Hamid Mamdouh, Director, Trade in Services Division, WTO
  • Managing Movement and Temporary Stay of Labour Migrants: Policy and Implementation
    • Gervais Appave, Director, Migration Policy and Research, IOM
Session II: National Level Unilateral Approaches to Managing Movement and Temporary Stay of Workers
  • National Level Unilateral Approaches to Managing Movement and Temporary Stay of Workers 
    • Frank Laczko, Director of Research, IOM
  • Unilateral Approaches to Managing Movement and Stay of Temporary Workers: A Case Study of the Philippines
    • Danilo P. Cruz, Undersecretary, The Philippines
  • Ground-Breaking Reform, Bahrain's endeavors to reform the labour market 
    • Ausamah A. Al Absi, Director of Employment, Ministry of Labor & Social Affairs , Bahrain
  • UK Work Permits
    • Lesley Maundrell, Work Permits (UK)
Session III: Bilateral Approaches to Managing the Movement and Temporary Stay of Workers
  • Bilateral Labour Mobility Agreements
    • Georges Lemaitre, OECD
  • Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
    • Elizabeth Ruddick, Canada
Session IV: Regional Arrangements for Managing the Movement and Temporary Stay of Workers
  • Regional approaches to labour mobility 
    • Julia Nielson, Trade Directorate, OECD
  • Regional Trade Facilitation - APEC Business Travel Card Scheme 
    • APEC Business Travel Card, David Watt, Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Australia
  • Mexican Experience within Nafta 
    • NAFTA, Luz Maria Servin Sotres, National Migration Institute, Mexico
Session V: National Implementation of International Obligations
  • National Implementation of International Obligations
    • Carlo Gamberale, WTO, Trade in Services
Session VI: A View from the Constituents
  • Employer's Perspective
    • Ellen Yost, Fragomen, Global Corporate Immigration law firm


Related documents
Event documents