An analysis of the effects of the general agreement on trade in services (gats) on Kenya
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At the heart of the WTO are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the majority of the world’s trading nations and ratified at their parliaments. One of these agreements is the GATS. These contracts are binding governments to keep their trade policies within agreed limits as they form the legal groundrules for international commerce. The study analyses the effects of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) on Kenya. The research analyses the impact on Kenya after adapting the GATS recommendations from 1995 to the present. The GATS is the only agreement at the international level, which regulates and liberalises trade in financial services as well as investment of financial services providers. The GATS agreement was negotiated in the Uruguay Round (1986-1994) and since 1995 had to be applied by the entire WTO membership. GATS are part of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The WTO is a multilateral organisation whose rules have a powerful effect on the trade and domestic policies of member states and on the livelihoods and lives of their people. Kenya made commitments under the GATS in various service sectors, which includes communication, banking and finance, education, tourism and many other service sectors. The paper analysed the positive and negative consequences to the various service sectors that were liberalised under the GATS in Kenya. The main areas that the researcher used as a yardstick include environmental, political, economic, technological and social effects of liberalising the service market under the GATS in Kenya.