Liberalisation and Universal Access to Basic Services

Telecommunications, Water and Sanitation, Financial Services, and Electricity

image of Liberalisation and Universal Access to Basic Services

Building on a recent groundbreaking OECD/World Bank seminar, this volume explores whether and how trade liberalisation can contribute to achieving universal service goals and the types of complementary policies required.  It focuses on experiences in four sectors - telecommunications,  water and sanitation, financial services, and electricity. The unique multi-sector perspective taken in this book, together with the national case studies, yield insights which can help countries promote their universal access goals. A horizontal assessment also helps determine how far the current services negotiations in the WTO, under the General Agreement on Trade in Services, can aid the attainment of universal service goals.



Efficiency, Equity and Liberalisation of Water Services in Buenos Aires, Argentina

This chapter traces Argentina’s decision to privatise its water and sanitation services and describes in detail implementation of the privatisation scheme, including the many problems encountered with respect to the contract with the provider and regulatory issues as well as those attributable to the financial crisis, and the effects on access to water and sanitations services for the poor. Ultimately, the contract was rescinded. The experience offers useful lessons on pitfalls to be avoided.


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