Table of Contents

  • Domestic regulation of services sectors has a significant impact on services trade liberalization, which is why General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) disciplines are negotiated in the WTO. With the help of analyses and case studies from academics, regulators and trade experts, this book explores the scope and limits of WTO legal principles to promote domestic regulatory reform. Case studies discuss country specific challenges and experiences of regulating important service sectors, such as finance, telecommunications, distribution, legal, education, health, postal and logistics services, as well as the role of regulatory impact assessments. The findings will interest trade officials, policy makers, regulators, think tanks, and businesses concerned with the implications of domestic regulation on access to services markets, and with the opportunities for formulating trade disciplines in this area. It is also a useful resource for academics and students researching regulatory approaches and practices in services sectors.

  • International trade in services is governed principally by regulatory measures. Unlike trade in goods, border measures in the form of tariffs and quotas are not the main barriers to trade. This peculiarity of services trade is due to the manner by which services are produced and consumed. Due to the intangible and non-storable nature of services, suppliers and consumers often have to be in physical proximity to each other for the transaction to be completed. For this reason, economists have traditionally considered services to be non-tradable across borders and have paid little attention to it in trade theory.