Wahba, Jackline and Mohieldin, Mahmoud
Liberalising trade in financial Services: the Uruguay Round and the Arab countries
World Development, 26, (7), . (doi:10.1016/S0305-750X(98)00055-2).
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As a result of the Uruguay Round, members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are committed to initiating gradual liberalization in their service sectors, i.e., to opening their markets to foreign service suppliers. The purpose of this paper is to examine the prospects and problems of trade liberalization in financial services in the Arab countries. The paper draws on the theoretical contributions outlining the case for financial liberalization in developing countries. It reviews the recent performance, structure and regulation of the banking systems in some Arab countries. The main conclusion is that Arab countries do not meet the prerequisites for successful financial liberalization. There is a clear need for internal reform of the financial systems first before opening up to external competition.
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