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A Handbook of International Trade in Services$
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Aaditya Mattoo, Robert M. Stern, and Gianni Zanini

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199235216

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199235216.001.0001

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Financial Services and International Trade Agreements: The Development Dimension

Financial Services and International Trade Agreements: The Development Dimension

Chapter:
(p.289) 7 Financial Services and International Trade Agreements: The Development Dimension
Source:
A Handbook of International Trade in Services
Author(s):

Wendy Dobson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199235216.003.0007

This chapter notes the special role of financial services in an economy and distinguishes policy reform from domestic deregulation and capital account deregulation. The impacts of policy reform and the benefits and risks of broader financial sector development, growth, income distribution, and poverty are discussed. The impacts of reform include: increased domestic competition; causing further reform and greater regulatory transparency; increased resiliency of the domestic financial system to shocks; encouragement of the diffusion of new skills, products and technologies; and facilitation of access to international capital. The elements of successful trade-policy reform are noted, based on the experiences of China, Thailand, and Latin America. Issues in need of additional research are identified, including the impact on domestic financial performance of foreign equity participation, improvement of available data on and transparency of barriers to cross-border transactions and foreign entry, measures used to moderate unanticipated impacts of liberalization, and further elucidation of the rationales for the WTO Financial Services Agreement (FSA) commitments. The role of international negotiations is addressed in terms of how they can help individual countries, what can be learned from international rules and commitments undertaken, whether there is scope for improvement, whether existing commitments promote desirable policies, possible reasons for refraining from commitments, and issues in need of further research. An addendum reviews the liberalization of financial services in the Western Hemisphere and in China.

Keywords:   policy reform, domestic deregulation, capital account liberalization, financial sector development, regulatory transparency, international capital, foreign equity participation, transparency of barriers, WTO Financial Services Agreement

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