Trade and Regulatory Reform

Insights from Country Experience

As trade barriers at the border have fallen through successive trade negotiations, domestic regulation has emerged as a source of residual but potentially significant trade barriers. Recognising the importance of participating in intensified global competition, countries increasingly see regulatory reform as an inescapable policy to ensure that the expected benefits of globalisation are realised and that differences in national regulatory systems do not become barriers to international trade and investment. In this light, OECD has undertaken a broad-ranging project on regulatory reform, for which market openness is seen as a key objective.

The papers collected in this volume were presented at a workshop at OECD that aimed to share national experiences of regulatory reform and trade and to foster consensus-building on best practices. Such practices include enhanced transparency, non-discriminatory due process, independence of regulators and active implementation of competition policy. Other issues raised at the workshop included the challenges for developing countries in pursuing regulatory reform and enhancing market openness,  and insights for multilateral trading rule-making emerging from country experiences.

The discussions reveal the pervasiveness of the issues raised at the workshop. In examining the recent development of regulatory issues in trade policy making, this volume brings new light to experiences in some parts of Asia and the Western hemisphere as well as to the growing links among trade, regulation and governance.