Liberalization and Rules on Regulation in the Field of Financial Services in Bilateral Trade and Regional Integration Agreements

The recent international financial crisis has sparked a fierce debate about its causes and about how to prevent a recurrence. As liberalization and deregulation were widely considered being among the major culprits, de-liberalization and re-regulation seemed a natural response. However, an economic approach to this issue does not support such black-and-white solutions. Although liberalizing financial services sectors may threaten a developing country's financial stability in the short run, it also fosters long-run economic growth if sound legal and economic institutions are in place that can mitigate the adverse side-effects of liberalization. For achieving this objective, states need the policy space to implement such regulatory measures. Contrary to a wide-spread belief, states are not unduly hampered by bilateral or multilateral agreements. Instead, by providing a far-reaching exception concerning prudential regulation states can define their own regulatory approach. The challange for developing countries thus is to install regulatory capacities.

01. July 2010

Authors Diemo Dietrich J. Finke C. Tietje

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