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Alternative Approaches to Financial Services Liberalisation: the Role of Regional Trade Agreements

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Chapter Summary

The future of Doha Development Round negotiations remains very uncertain. Financial services liberalisation is not new: there have been at least three past trade related approaches: OECD; Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs); Financial Services Liberalisation in WTO Framework. It is right to be aware of the potential conflict, and its implications both for the Round and for future approaches to financial services liberalisation. There are various alternatives. Could the well-tried OECD models be re-fashioned to fit a wider range of countries? Do bilateral or regional trade agreements provide a way ahead? Should the private sector put more energy into promoting regulatory convergence and regulatory dialogue? All these issues will merit careful weighing, in light of experience of both a sector-specific financial services negotiation and a wider WTO round. This chapter examines some of them. It overviews the issues and pressures that may influence the future way ahead for financial services liberalisation.

Keywords: Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs); Doha development round; financial services liberalisation; OECD; regional trade agreements; trade related approaches; WTO



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