Thursday, March 12, 2015

Free Trade 45: Protectionism in Services, Peering at the ASEAN

Southeast Asian governments and their neighbors are generally liberal in trade in goods. But in trade in services, many of them remain protectionist. Paper presented in 2013, From "Services Trade on the Road to the ASEAN Economic Community" by Pierre Sauvé, presented at the ADB, July 18, 2013.


Comparison by region and sub-continents. We Asians are more protectionist in trade in services than those in South America? wow. From the same source above.

The challenge of services liberalization in the ASEAN. This paper presented in 2010, From ASEAN Experience with Services Trade Agreements andLessons Learned by Mia Mikic,

From Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), ASEAN Integration in Trade in Services: Development,Challenges, and Way Forward by Tan Tai Hong, 2011.

At the ASEAN Framework agreement on Services (AFAS), the top services are (1) Tourism and travel related, (2) Environmental services, (3) Construction and related engingeering, and (4) Distribution services.

From this report. Very often, "harmonization" is the opposite of "liberalization" of policies, say in a regional bloc. When you harmonize, you uniformize, monotonize, the policies -- in taxation, labor regulation, etc. The spirit of competition through liberalization is defeated. And when there is too much labor regulation and protection, people would rather be employees forever, as becoming an entrepreneur and job creator is slapped with lots of regulations and restrictions. 

(To be continued)

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