Case Studies

  • The Impact of GATS on Telecommunications Competition in Sri Lanka

    Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka, available at http://www.

    The telecommunications industry’s potential for prompting socio-economic growth has spurred massive changes in telecommunications sectors the world over; Sri Lanka has followed this path, and ever since the mid-1990s the industry has inched towards liberalization. As in several other developing countries, Sri Lanka liberalized the domestic segment of its telecommunications market before introducing competition in international telephony. In addition, liberalization and the setting up of a regulatory body preceded the partial privatization of the incumbent operator.

  • Philippines: Adopting the Transaction Basis for Customs Valuation

    This study describes the challenges faced by customs officials in the Philippines when they adopted transaction valuation to facilitate imports, and the way in which they overcame these challenges. The Philippines government needed to adopt its international treaty obligations into domestic law, and it did that with two laws. It enacted Republic Act (RA) 8181 in 1997, which enabled transaction valuation reform. However, various obstacles hindered the implementation of this law, and so in 2001 the government adopted RA 9135 to fix the problem in RA 8181 so as to authorize post-entry audit systems.

  • Philippines: Stakeholder Participation in Agricultural Policy Formation

    Agriculture is a major contributor to the Philippines economy, accounting for 21.5% of its gross domestic product (GDP),(1) generating exports valued at over US$1.5 billion,(2) and providing one third of all employment, or 11 million jobs.(3) Its contribution increases when ‘all economic activities related to agro-processing and supply of non-farm agricultural inputs are included, (as) the agricultural sector broadly defined accounts for about two-thirds of the labour force and 40% of GDP’.(4) The strategic importance of this sector makes it compelling for the government to enact a stakeholder-based process that will fully and effectively render legitimacy not only to its domestic economic policies but to its international economic commitments as well, such as to the WTO.

  • The Pacific Island Nations: Towards Shared Representation

    Most small economies find it difficult to operate alone in the global economy, and less developed economies face particular hurdles in their quest for prosperity. The global trading environment is becoming increasingly integrated, and the last decade has seen a number of regional groupings form to capitalize on the benefits of more efficient use of resources and economies of scale. While this integration has been most evident in the major economies of Europe (the European Union) and North America (the North American Free Trade Agreement), similar moves towards economic integration are being explored in Asia and South and Central America, in a sign that many countries are recognizing the benefits of a shared approach to trade and development. As the world’s major economies move towards greater trade and economic integration, many smaller, less developed economies are at risk of being left behind. In recognition of this, the World Trade Organization is paying particular attention to the needs of smaller economies.

  • Import Prohibition as a Trade Policy Instrument: The Nigerian Experience

    From the mid-1970s onwards, Nigeria’s main trade policy instruments shifted markedly away from tariffs to quantitative import restrictions, particularly import prohibition and import licensing. As a reflection of this shift, Nigeria’s customs legislation established an import prohibition list for trade items and an absolute import prohibition list for non-trade items. While the trade list covers the full range of agricultural and manufactured products, the non-trade list relates to goods and services that are considered to be harmful to human, animal and plant health, as well as public morals. Typical examples of products which feature on this second list include weapons, obscene articles, airmail, photographic printing paper, base or counterfeit coins and second-hand clothing. Furthermore, the customs legislation empowers the government to modify these lists at its discretion, by adding or subtracting items through customs and excise notices and government announcements.