Deepening East Asian Economic Integration in Services
In services markets, there may be legitimate reasons to regulate. Integration efforts should target regulatory restrictions that explicitly limit competition, and those that are intended to meet legitimate objectives, but are clearly more burdensome than need to be. In health and maritime, ASEAN is already relatively liberal by international standards, although there is still scope to promote cross-border trade and ease costly cabotage restrictions. In telecommunications, the residual foreign equity limits are hard to understand, given that past reforms and current technologies have ensured that most markets are already relatively competitive. In finance, there is substantially more to do, despite progress made during the Asian financial crisis. And in air transport, despite commitments to open skies, there is a need to further align the content of bilateral air services agreements with regional integration objectives.