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Classification of Services in the Digital Economy

Classification of Services in the Digital Economy, Rolf H. Weber and Mira Burri, Staempfli and Springer, 2012

17 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2012 Last revised: 3 Apr 2016

Rolf H. Weber

University of Zurich - Faculty of Law

Mira Burri

University of Lucerne

Date Written: July 1, 2012

Abstract

The classification of services in the digital economy proves critical for doing business, but it appears to be a particularly complex regulatory matter, which bears upon a manifold set of issues. In the context of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), when the services classification scheme was drafted in the early 1990s, convergence processes had not unfolded yet and the Internet was still in its infancy and not a reality in daily life. Therefore, policy makers are now struggling with the problem of regulating trade in electronic services and are in search of a future-oriented solution for classifying them in multilateral and preferential trade agreements.

In late fall 2011, the authors of this study have been mandated by the European Union, Delegation to Vietnam, in the context of the Multilateral Trade Assistance Project 3 (MUTRAP 3) to work out a report clarifying the classification of services in the information/digital economy and to assess the impact of any decision regarding the classifications on the domestic and external relations policy of Vietnam, as well as to discuss the relevant issues with local experts. The efforts in writing the respective report have shown that further research is highly needed in the field of classifications in general and of digital services classification in particular. Therefore, the authors have come to the conclusion that a publication of the study in a slightly amended version would be beneficial to a broader audience and might contribute to the ongoing debate on these thorny regulatory issues.

Keywords: services classification, information technology, telecommunications, audiovisual services, convergence, Internet, WTO, GATS, FTAs

Suggested Citation

Weber, Rolf H. and Burri, Mira, Classification of Services in the Digital Economy (July 1, 2012). Classification of Services in the Digital Economy, Rolf H. Weber and Mira Burri, Staempfli and Springer, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2125836

Rolf H. Weber

University of Zurich - Faculty of Law ( email )

Universität Zürich
Rämistrasse 74 / 57
Zürich, CH-8001
Switzerland

Mira Burri (Contact Author)

University of Lucerne ( email )

Frohburgstrasse 3
PO Box 4466
Lucerne, 6002
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.unilu.ch/

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