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Trade in banking services : issues for multilateral negotiations, Volume 1
Author:Gelb, Alan; Sagari, Silvia; Date Stored:2001/04/27
Document Date:1990/03/31Document Type:Policy Research Working Paper
SubTopics:Knowledge Economy; Financial Crisis Management & Restructuring; Banks & Banking Reform; Education for the Knowledge Economy; Financial IntermediationLanguage:English
Major Sector:(Historic)Economic PolicyReport Number:WPS381
Sub Sectors:TradeCollection Title:Policy, Research, and External Affairs working papers ; no. WPS 381
Volume No:1  

Summary: When the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade was instituted in 1948, its mandate excluded such industries as banking, insurance and telecommunciaitons. These services sectors were highly regulated and protected in most countries, partly because of their sensitivity to national security and cultural identity. Under U.S. pressure, the Uruguay Round talks have included financial services, particularly banking. The response of developing countries to the U.S. proposal to liberalize trade in financial services ranges from cautious to hostile. Partly this reflects concern about the perceived comparative advantage of industrial countries and the desire of strong vested interests to continue to use the financial system as an instrument of public policy. It also reflects the weak situation of the banking industry in many developing countries. In some there is no real banking industry; in many the banking sector is technically insolvent and needs costly restructuring and reform. Opening the borders to foreign competition is essential to liberalization. But this process must proceed at the pace appropriate to the wide-ranging domestic reforms essential in most developing countries.

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