Whether and When to Liberalize Capital Account and Financial Services
Discussions about international capital movements raise extremely important and controversial questions. Why should countries open up their capital accounts, especially considering that unrestricted international capital movement is a relatively new phenomenon?For example, many OECD countries have not eliminated their foreign exchange restrictions only until the 1980's. If the answer is unequivocally affirmative, does it matter how fast should countries do so? Should they wait until "all essential pieces" of the policy package are in place before they eliminate all restrictions? How are international capital movements related to domestic financial sectors? Is there a difference between opening to competition an industry such as car manufacturing as compared to the banking sector? Should the opening of the banking sector be governed by different rules? These questions have also implications for the World Trade Organization. It is well known, that the Uruguay Round Agreements have already provided a coverage for a number of aspects that are directly related to foreign investment. Rules established elsewhere such as in the context of changes to the IMF Articles will obviously have an important bearing for the implementation of rules agreed in the Uruguay Round. This raises a variety of other questions in the mind of some observers.
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