Services, Economic Development and the Doha Round: Exploiting the Comparative Advantage of the WTO

30 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2006

See all articles by Bernard Hoekman

Bernard Hoekman

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies; European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Aaditya Mattoo

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: April 2006

Abstract

This paper discusses what could be done to expand services trade and investment through a multilateral agreement in the WTO. A distinction is made between market access liberalization and the regulatory preconditions for benefiting from market opening. We argue that moving forward on multilateral services liberalization requires a shift from bilateral request-offer negotiations to a model schedule approach that sets ambitious objectives - ideally full national treatment for the major backbone services. Attainment of such objectives, especially by smaller and poorer members, requires procompetitive regulation and strengthened regulatory institutions in developing countries. This suggests linking implementation of liberalization commitments to the provision of development assistance ('aid for trade') to bolster regulatory capacity and enforcement could enhance the relevance of the WTO for developing countries. Bolstering WTO mechanisms to monitor the actions of both developing and high-income country governments could make the institution much more relevant in promoting not just services liberalization but, more importantly, domestic reform of services policies.

Keywords: Services trade, investment, WTO, negotiations, Doha round

JEL Classification: F13

Suggested Citation

Hoekman, Bernard and Mattoo, Aaditya, Services, Economic Development and the Doha Round: Exploiting the Comparative Advantage of the WTO (April 2006). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5628. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=916744

Bernard Hoekman (Contact Author)

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies ( email )

Fiesole, Tuscany
Italy

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Aaditya Mattoo

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Room MC 3-327
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-458-8047 (Phone)
202-676-9810 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/amattoo

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