In preparation for negotiations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning regulations affecting the service sector next year, the first World Services Congress ever to be held will be in Atlanta Nov. 1-3.

      According to conference organizer John Roth, the Congress is a broad-based effort initiated by the Coalition of Service Industries Research and Education Foundation in Washington, D.C.

The Congress is sponsored by an array of global companies including Atlanta-based United Parcel Service of America Inc. and is to feature a “global services marketplace.”

The marketplace already has secured insurance giants AIG and Chubb, the global financial services provider Citigroup, the carriers FedEx and UPS and many others.

“There is a short-term objective of promoting partnerships, joint ventures and revealing new business opportunities in emerging and expanding markets” Mr. Roth told GlobalFax last week. “There also is an overriding long-term purpose of bringing together prominent global business leaders, government officials and trade experts to provide advice to service negotiators to the WTO services 2000 negotiations.

He especially encouraged representatives of small- to medium-sized companies to attend, saying that the smaller companies should never consider themselves “too small to think big,” and that many of the 2,000 expected attendees will be looking to form partnerships.

He added that Atlanta was chosen as the site for the first Congress because of its reputation as being “trade friendly” as well as being an international gateway.

The Congress also is to feature Michael Moore, director general of the WTO, Fidel Ramos, former president of the Philippines and JosÈ Maria Figueres Owen, former president of Costa Rica.

The cost of attending the full congress is $695 if paid by Friday, Oct. 15.  To register or for more information, go to http://www.worldservicecongress.com

      Mr. Roth may be reached by calling (407) 425-8184, ext. 11.