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