Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Trade in Services

Research Handbook on Trade in Services

Research Handbooks on the WTO series

Edited by Pierre Sauvé and Martin Roy

This Research Handbook explores the latest frontiers in services trade by drawing on insights from empirical economics, law and global political economy. The world’s foremost experts take stock of the learning done to date in services trade, explore policy questions bedevilling analysts and direct attention to a host of issues, old and new, confronting those interested in the service economy and its rising salience in cross-border exchange. The Handbook’s 22 chapters shed informed analytical light on a subject matter whose substantive remit continues to be shaped by rapid evolutions in technology, data gathering, market structures, consumer preferences, approaches to regulation and by ongoing shifts in the frontier between the market and the state.

Chapter 18: Opening services markets in developing countries: What role for competition law?

Joseph Wilson

Subjects: law - academic, international economic law, trade law


While governments may pursue the goals of promoting international trade and investment, they nonetheless form policies and laws that restrict, prevent or distort competition in the market. Public restraints pose as much a challenge as private anticompetitive restraints. Opening up markets is not sufficient. It is imperative that a robust competition regime be put in place to correct the market-distorting measures adopted by governments, thereby ensuring a level playing field for all market-players. This chapter aims at illustrating that the success of liberalization of services market is directly related to the effective enforcement of a competition regime. While detecting and prosecuting private anticompetitive practices form a major part of the work of competition agencies, this chapter focuses on public restraints, which, when seen in light of commitments to liberalize markets, is more reprehensible conduct than private anticompetitive practices. The chapter, after highlighting different forms of government barriers to trade and competition, documents relevant case studies from Pakistan of public restraints affecting competition.

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