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Ethiopia’s WTO Accession and Financial Services Liberalization: Striking the Balance between Trade Liberalization and Domestic Policy Space

TE Kassahun


This article examines some of the main provisions of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the Annex on Financial Services to evaluate its impact on domestic financial regulation and macroeconomic policy. In
particular, it analyzes whether Ethiopia can – upon accession and within the WTO’s GATS framework – achieve the objective of liberalizing international
trade in financial services while maintaining adequate domestic regulatory institutions and the normative framework needed in this regard. The article
investigates whether GATS provides a flexible framework for Ethiopia to negotiate liberalization commitments while at the same time preserving a
sufficient level of domestic regulatory space to achieve financial and economic

Key words: WTO accession, GATS, financial liberalization, domestic policy space, trade liberalization, Ethiopia