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Liberalizing basic telecommunications : the Asian experience

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  • Fink, Carsten
  • Mattoo, Aaditya
  • Rathindran, Randeep

Abstract

The authors examine the liberalization of the basic telecommunications sector in Asian countries with a view to identifying good policy and determining how multilateral negotiations can promote it. They find that most Asian governments, despite the move away from traditional public monopolies, are still unwilling to allow unrestricted entry, eliminate limits on private and foreign ownership, and establish strong, independent regulators. But where comprehensive reform has been undertaken-including privatization, competition, and regulation-the availability of main lines, the quality of service, and the productivity of labor are significantly higher. Somewhat surprisingly, little unilateral liberalization has occurred since the last round of telecommunications negotiations under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The new round therefore faces the challenge of not merely harvesting unilateral liberalization, as in the past, but of negotiating away existing restrictions. Since quantitative restrictions on the number of telecommunications service suppliers are pervasive, deepened GATS rules could help ensure transparent and nondiscriminatory allocation of licenses. There may also be a need to sharpen the regulatory principles established in the last round and to create rules that safeguard not only the rights of foreign suppliers but also those of consumers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2718.

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Date of creation: 30 Nov 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2718

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Keywords: Decentralization; ICT Policy and Strategies; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research; International Terrorism&Counterterrorism; ICT Policy and Strategies; Economic Theory&Research; Environmental Economics&Policies; Knowledge Economy; Education for the Knowledge Economy;

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References

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  1. Carsten Fink & Aaditya Mattoo & Ileana Cristina Neagu, 2002. "Trade in International Maritime Services: How Much Does Policy Matter?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(1), pages 81-108, June.
  2. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  3. Das, Nibedita, 2000. "Technology, efficiency and sustainability of competition in the Indian telecommunications sector," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 133-154, June.
  4. Olivier Boylaud & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2000. "Regulation, Market Structure and Performance in Telecommunications," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 237, OECD Publishing.
  5. Björn Wellenius, 1997. "Telecommunications Reform : How to Succeed," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11569, The World Bank.
  6. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 2001. "Competition in Telecommunications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262621509, December.
  7. Bjorn Wellenius & Carlo Maria Rossotto, 1999. "Introducing Telecommunications Competition through a Wireless License : Lessons from Morocco," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11449, The World Bank.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gutierrez, Luis H., 2003. "Regulatory governance in the Latin American telecommunications sector," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 225-240, December.
  2. Machiel van Dijk & Machiel Mulder, 2005. "Regulation of telecommunication and deployment of broadband," CPB Memorandum 131, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  3. Estache, Antonio & Goicoechea, Ana & Trujillo, Lourdes, 2006. "Utilities reforms and corruption in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4081, The World Bank.
  4. World Bank, 2009. "Tunisia's Global Integration : A Second Generation of Reforms to Boost Growth and Employment," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6298, October.
  5. Estache, Antonio & Goicoechea, Ana & Manacorda, Marco, 2006. "Telecommunications performance, reforms, and governance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3822, The World Bank.
  6. Antonio Estache & Ana Goicoechea & Marco Manacorda, 2006. "Telecommunications Reform and Performance – A Global View," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 4(3), pages 16-21, October.
  7. Li, Yan & Lyons, Bruce, 2012. "Market structure, regulation and the speed of mobile network penetration," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 697-707.
  8. Djiofack-Zebaze, Calvin & Keck, Alexander, 2009. "Telecommunications Services in Africa: The Impact of WTO Commitments and Unilateral Reform on Sector Performance and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 919-940, May.
  9. Fink, Carsten & Mattoo, Aaditya & Rathindran, Randeep, 2002. "An assessment of telecommunications reform in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2909, The World Bank.
  10. Easterly, William & Irwin, Timothy & Serven, Luis, 2007. "Walking up the down escalator : public investment and fiscal stability," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4158, The World Bank.
  11. World Bank, 2008. "Tunisia's Global Integration : Second Generation of Reforms to Boost Growth and Employment," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7893, The World Bank.
  12. Machiel van Dijk & Bert Minne & Machiel Mulder & Henry van der Wiel & J. Poort, 2005. "Do market failures hamper the perspectives of broadband?," CPB Document 102, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  13. Johannah Branson, 2008. "Competition policy in ASEAN - Case studies," Macroeconomics Working Papers 22347, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  14. Borchert, Ingo & Gootiiz, Batshur & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2012. "Policy barriers to international trade in services : evidence from a new database," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6109, The World Bank.
  15. Johannah Branson, 2008. "Competition Policy in ASEAN: Case Studies," Asia Pacific Economic Papers 374, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  16. Mattoo, Aaditya & Rathindran, Randeep & Subramanian, Arvind, 2001. "Measuring services trade liberalization and its impact on economic growth : an illustration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2655, The World Bank.
  17. Pennings,Jacqueline & Kranenburg,Hans,van & Hagedoorn,John, 2005. "Past, Present and Future of the Telecommunications Industry," Research Memorandum 015, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  18. Thierry Buchs, 2005. "Privatization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Some Lessons from Experiences to Date," Microeconomics 0502007, EconWPA.

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