WTO Regional Trade Policy Course Round Table

June 6, 2013, 1:11 p.m. - June 6, 2013, 1:11 p.m.

"Services Regulation in World Trade: Insights from Telecommunications and Banking Sector"

Date: June 6, 2013 Thursday

Time: 14.00-17.00
Place: santralistanbul Campus, Museum of Energy Seminar Room

Hamid Mamdouh (Director, Trade in Services Division, World Trade Organization)
Ayşe Figen Safalı (Head of Unit, Turkish Ministry of Economy)
Hakan Ateş (CEO, DenizBank)
Melis Coşan Baban (TEB, Assistant General Manager, Head of Legal Affairs)
Kadir Boysan (Chief Strategy Officer, Avea)

The services sector is a key determinant of economic efficiency and competitiveness as well as contributor to social welfare. Introducing competition in services markets tends to strengthen the role of the sector if carried out within a sound regulatory framework. Accordingly, the production and distribution of services are subject to close regulation, supervision and control.

It is impossible for any country to prosper today under the burden of an inefficient and expensive services infrastructure. Producers and exporters of textiles, tomatoes or any other product will not be competitive without access to efficient banking, insurance, accountancy, telecoms and transport systems. In markets where supply is inadequate, imports of essential services can be as vital as imports of basic commodities. The benefits of services liberalization extend far beyond the service industries themselves; they are felt through their effects on all other economic activities.

The Round Table organized on the occasion of the WTO Regional Trade Policy Course thus aims at providing a discussion forum for the results of liberalisation and regulatory reforms that are undertaken in services field in Turkey with special emphasis on financial services and telecoms. The speakers are invited to convey their perception of services liberalization in their own sector and the impact of regulatory reforms undertaken in Turkey on more competitive markets and their proposal for a better regulatory regime.

This event is organized by İstanbul Bilgi University in cooperation with Turkish Ministry of Economy and World Trade Organization Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation.

Opening Remarks by Moderator: Asst. Prof. Pınar Artıran, İstanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Law, Academic Coordinator of WTO Regional Trade Policy Course

The role of Services in modern economies (20-30 minutes):

Mr Hamid Mamdouh, Director, Trade in Services Division, World Trade Organization, Geneva
The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), within the WTO, provides the first multilateral legal framework for the progressive liberalization of services trade through negotiations. Against this background the speaker will provide a brief analytical description of the current situation in multilateral negotiations.

Turkey and trade in services negotiations (15 minutes):

Mrs Ayse Figen Safalı, Head of Unit: Agreements for Trade in Services, Directorate General for Agreements, Turkish Ministry of Economy
Sectoral perspective - Experience with Policy and Regulatory Reforms in Turkey

1) Financial Services (40 minutes) :

Mr Hakan Ateş, CEO, DenizBank

Mrs Melis Coşan Baban, TEB, Assistant General Manager, Head of Legal Affairs
The financial services sector plays a vital role in transforming them into sound investments. The sector has witnessed major regulatory and policy reforms towards increasing liberalization around the world. However, it is also underwent a major crisis in 2007 which led to revisiting some of the policy and regulatory approaches previously adopted. The speaker will describe how the financial services sector in Turkey was affected and comment on the steps taken by the competent authorities in the wake of the crisis.

2) Telecommunications (20 minutes)
Mr Kadir Boysan, AVEA Chief Strategy Officer

The sector of telecommunications (and ICT-related services) represent one of the most important infrastructural services sectors. With technological advances and policy and regulatory reforms over the past three decades, the sector has gained paramount importance for industries and households alike. The speaker will highlight the most salient market and policy developments in the sector in Turkey in recent years from a private operator's perspective.

Round Table Discussion

* Background info: WTO Regional Trade Policy Course for Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Caucasus Countries

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