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Services in a development round : three goals and three proposals

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  • Mattoo, Aaditya

Abstract

The benefits of services trade reform are huge but services negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO) are making little progress. A proximate cause is the current negotiating process, based on an inertial request-and-offer approach rather than a set of goals that would give direction and momentum to the negotiations. The paper suggests that WTO members should consider: (1) locking in the current openness of cross-border trade for a wide range of services; (2) eliminating barriers to foreign investment either immediately or in a phased manner where regulatory inadequacies need to be remedied; and (3) allowing greater freedom of international movement at least for intra-corporate transferees and for service providers to fulfill specific services contracts. A deeper problem is that WTO members have sought to negotiate market access in services without adequately addressing concerns that the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) commitments limit regulatory freedom unduly and unpredictably, that regulatory institutions in many countries are too weak to cope with liberalized markets, and that there is no provision for the regulatory cooperation that is necessary for successful liberalization, particularly of temporary labor mobility. Three types of actions are needed: (1) at the current stage of its development, theGATS must focus primarily on disciplines for measures that discriminate against foreign services and providers, rather than on politically sensitive and legally complex rules for nondiscriminatory measures; (2) a credible assistance mechanism must be established to help developing countries make the regulatory improvements needed for successful liberalization; and (3) where necessary, WTO members should make access commitments on labor mobility conditional on the fulfillment of specific conditions by source countries-to screen services providers, accept and facilitate their return, and combat illegal migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Mattoo, Aaditya, 2005. "Services in a development round : three goals and three proposals," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3718, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3718
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sherman Robinson & Zhi Wang & Will Martin, 2002. "Capturing the Implications of Services Trade Liberalization," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 3-33.
    2. Mattoo, Aaditya & Wunsch, Sacha, 2004. "Pre-empting protectionism in services - the WTO and outsourcing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3237, The World Bank.
    3. Chaudhuri, Sumanta & Mattoo, Aaditya & Self, Richard, 2004. "Moving people to deliver services : how can the WTO help?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3238, The World Bank.
    4. Mattoo, Aaditya & Rathindran, Randeep, 2006. "Measuring Services Trade Liberalization and Its Impact on Economic Growth: An Illustration," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 21, pages 64-98.
    5. Aadtya Mattoo, 2000. "Financial Services and the WTO: Liberalisation Commitments of the Developing and Transition Economies," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 351-386, March.
    6. Mattoo, Aaditya, 1997. "National treatment in the GATS: Corner-stone or Pandora's Box," WTO Staff Working Papers TISD-96-02, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    7. L. Alan Winters & Terrie L. Walmsley & Zhen Kun Wang & Roman Grynberg, 2003. "Liberalising Temporary Movement of Natural Persons: An Agenda for the Development Round," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(8), pages 1137-1161, August.
    8. Hoekman, Bernard, 2005. "Expanding WTO membership and heterogeneous interests," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(03), pages 401-408, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Thierry MONTALIEU & Isabelle RABAUD, 2006. "Trade in Services: How does it Work for MENA Countries?," LEO Working Papers / DR LEO 1688, Orleans Economics Laboratory / Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orleans (LEO), University of Orleans.
    2. Jansen, Marion, 2006. "Services Trade Liberalization at the Regional Level: Does Southern and Eastern Africa Stand to Gain from EPA Negotiations?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5800, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Joseph Francois & Bernard Hoekman, 2010. "Services Trade and Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(3), pages 642-692, September.
    4. Jansen, Marion, 2006. "Services trade liberalization at the regional level: Does Southern and Eastern Africa stand to gain from EPA negotiations?," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2006-06, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    5. Hoekman, Bernard & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2006. "Services, Economic Development and the Doha Round: Exploiting the Comparative Advantage of the WTO," CEPR Discussion Papers 5628, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Bernard Hoekman & Aaditya Mattoo & André Sapir, 2007. "The political economy of services trade liberalization: a case for international regulatory cooperation?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 367-391, Autumn.
    7. Will Martin & Aaditya Mattoo, 2010. "The Doha Development Agenda: What's on the table?," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 81-107.
    8. Jan Hagemejer & Jan Michałek & Tomasz Michałek, 2010. "Implications of the Doha Round negotiations in services for Poland," Bank i Kredyt, Narodowy Bank Polski, vol. 41(1), pages 5-30.
    9. Hoekman, Bernard & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2007. "Regulatory cooperation, aid for trade and the general agreement on trade in services," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4451, The World Bank.

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    Keywords

    Trade and Services; TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT; Trade and Regional Integration; Governance Indicators; ICT Policy and Strategies;

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