Trade Liberalization, Competition and the WTO

Trade Liberalization, Competition and the WTO

Edited by Chris Milner and Robert Read

The prospective WTO Millennium Round of negotiations will highlight critical economic issues regarding the application and implementation of the WTO rules to international trade in goods and services. In this book, a distinguished group of academic experts considers the agenda and areas of interest for the next Round in light of Seattle, the functions of the WTO and competition policy issues arising from trade liberalization.

Chapter 4: The Implications of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATTS) for the Banking Sector in the Gulf Region

Victor Murinde and Cillian Ryan

Subjects: economics and finance, international economics


4. The implications of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) for the banking sector in the Gulf Region Victor Murinde and Cillian Ryan One main innovation of the WTO in supplanting the GATT was to take a much broader view of trade and, in particular, add to the trade negotiations issues such as Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), TradeRelated Investment Measures (TRIMS) and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).1 The provisions regarding trade in financial services, which are an integral element of the GATS, have proved to be a source of considerable anxiety for the non-industrialized countries generally. This concern arises, in part, because the consequences of the GATS are not well understood and there is a sense among these countries that they are being pressurized into signing up for something which may yet turn out to be to their detriment. The potential effects of the GATS on developing countries has been analysed (see, for example, Lensink et al., 1998) but the group of countries which are the subject of this chapter are somewhat special. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, while not part of the mainstream industrialized world, have concerns which differ considerably from those of the bulk of emerging and developing nations. To a greater or lesser extent, these states are oil exporters which enjoy considerable surpluses and are largely open to the Western world. They are, however, acutely aware of the exhaustibility of their primary source of wealth and are...

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