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One Insurance Services and Recent Trade Negotiations

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Chapter Summary

Insurance is essential for a modern economy. Yet, achieving real progress on insurance market liberalization and increased cross-border trade in insurance services has been extremely difficult, hampered by the failed negotiations in the Doha Round. However, a few bilateral successes have provided lessons and the hope for future success. This chapter examines the major weaknesses that have occurred in the WTO insurance services negotiations and the role that bilateral negotiations can play in improving the prospects for multilateral negotiations in the financial services sector. The analysis suggests that progress in multilateral negotiations will not occur until trade negotiators accept the premise that liberalising trade in insurance services can only be beneficial for a country's economic development and the desire to create national champions and to protect the local market can result in devastating economic costs for an economy, especially for developing economies.

Keywords: cross-border trade; Doha round; financial services; insurance services; trade liberalization; trade negotiations; World Trade Organization (WTO)



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