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Liberalizing basic telecommunications: The Asian experience

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

Abstract

The liberalization of the basic telecommunications sector in Asian countries is examined in this paper with a view to identify the elements of good policy and examine how it can be promoted through multilateral negotiations. We find that despite the move away from traditional public monopolies, most Asian governments are still unwilling to allow unrestricted entry, eliminate limits on private and foreign ownership, and establish strong independent regulators. Where comprehensive reform including privatization, competition and regulation has been implemented, there are significantly higher levels of main line availability, service quality and labor productivity. Somewhat surprisingly, there has not been much unilateral liberalization since the last round of GATS telecommunications negotiations. The new round therefore faces the challenge of not merely harvesting unilateral liberalization as in the past, but of negotiating away existing restrictions. Furthermore, since quantitative restrictions on the number of suppliers are pervasive, deepened GATS rules could help ensure the transparent and non-discriminatory 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Fink, Carsten & Mattoo, Aaditya & Rathindran, Randeep, 2002. "Liberalizing basic telecommunications: The Asian experience," HWWA Discussion Papers 163, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwadp:26311
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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Chun & Jayakar, Krishna, 2012. "The evolution of telecommunications policy-making: Comparative analysis of China and India," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 13-28.
    2. 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.
    3. Ingo Borchert & Batshur Gootiiz & Aaditya Mattoo, 2014. "Policy Barriers to International Trade in Services: Evidence from a New Database," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 162-188.
    4. Estache, Antonio & Goicoechea, Ana & Trujillo, Lourdes, 2009. "Utilities reforms and corruption in developing countries," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 191-202, June.
    5. Thierry Buchs, 2005. "Privatization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Some Lessons from Experiences to Date," Microeconomics 0502007, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Jayakar, Krishna & Liu, Chun, 2014. "Universal service in China and India: Legitimating the state?," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 186-199.
    7. Fink, Carsten & Mattoo, Aaditya & Rathindran, Randeep, 2003. "An assessment of telecommunications reform in developing countries," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 443-466, December.
    8. Ortiz, Ma. Kristina P. & Serafica, Ramonette B. & Bairan, Jose Carlos Alexis C., 2017. "Rebooting Philippine Telecommunications Through Structural Reform," Discussion Papers DP 2017-19, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. World Bank, 2009. "Tunisia's Global Integration : A Second Generation of Reforms to Boost Growth and Employment," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 6298.
    12. Gutierrez, Luis H., 2003. "Regulatory governance in the Latin American telecommunications sector," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 225-240, December.
    13. Antonio Estache & Ana Goicoechea & Marco Manacorda, 2006. "Telecommunications Reform and Performance – A Global View," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 4(3), pages 16-21, October.
    14. Machiel van Dijk & Machiel Mulder, 2005. "Regulation of telecommunication and deployment of broadband," CPB Memorandum 131, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    15. Grigoriev, A. & Uetz, M.J., 2005. "Scheduling parallel jobs with linear speedup," Research Memorandum 015, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    16. Johannah Branson, 2008. "Competition policy in ASEAN - Case studies," Macroeconomics Working Papers 22347, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    17. World Bank, 2008. "Tunisia's Global Integration : Second Generation of Reforms to Boost Growth and Employment," World Bank Publications - Reports 7893, The World Bank Group.
    18. G. Sivalingam, 2010. "Network governance in Malaysia's telecommunications industry," Asia Pacific Business Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1-2), pages 143-159, April.
    19. 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.
    20. Estache, Antonio & Goicoechea, Ana & Manacorda, Marco, 2006. "Telecommunications performance, reforms, and governance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3822, The World Bank.
    21. William Easterly & Timothy Irwin & Luis Servén, 2008. "Walking up the Down Escalator: Public Investment and Fiscal Stability," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 23(1), pages 37-56, January.
    22. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    International Economic Order; Trade Negotiations; Market Liberalization; Services Trade; Telecommunication Services;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration

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