Mike Moore's speeches
Renato Ruggiero's speeches,
Director-General Mr. Renato Ruggiero hailed today's decision as a vitally important
element in providing stability to the financial sector, particularly in developing
countries. Moreover, Mr. Ruggiero underscored that the ratification of this agreement by
Parliaments is compelling evidence of the democratic and transparent nature of WTO
a meeting today, representatives from the 52 governments1
decided that the 1 March 1999 date would not be changed and requested the WTO's Council
for Trade in Services to extend the deadline for accepting the protocol in order to allow
another 18 governments2 more time
to complete their domestic ratification procedures. The decision to extend the deadline
for accepting the protocol to 15 June 1999 was later adopted by the Council for Trade
Council also agreed to renew the "standstill" commitment made in December 1997
for those 18 governments which have not yet accepted the protocol; a political commitment
not to take measures which would be inconsistent with their schedules annexed to the
protocol in the period before their formal entry into force.
combined commitments of the 70 governments3
cover more than an estimated 95% of the world's financial services activity and eliminate
or relax current restrictions on, inter alia, commercial presence of foreign
financial services suppliers. The commitments, which cover all three of the major
financial services sectors - banking, securities and insurance - also reduce current
limitations on service suppliers.
ratification of this agreement by Parliaments shows once again that our system is
transparent and democratic," Mr. Ruggiero said. "At a time of instability in
global financial markets, this agreement provides a solid foundation for improvement of
financial practices, for enlarging the pool of capital available to businesses and
consumers and for increasing the transparency of financial operations around the
urged those governments which had not yet ratified the protocol to do so as soon as
possible. Mr. Ruggiero stressed that the agreement was not for the purpose of liberalizing
capital flows, but was to create and expand opportunities for businesses to establish a
presence in foreign markets. This presence, he said, would help provide the stability that
is necessary to cultivate an environment for future economic growth, particularly in
1Bahrain; Canada; Chile; Colombia; Cyprus; Czech Rep.; Ecuador;
Egypt; EC and their Member States (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, The Kingdom of the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United
Kingdom); Hong Kong, China; Hungary; Iceland; India; Indonesia; Israel; Japan; Korea, Rep.
of; Kuwait; Macau; Malaysia; Malta; Mauritius; Mexico; New Zealand; Norway; Pakistan;
Peru; Romania; Senegal; Singapore; Slovak Republic; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Switzerland;
Thailand; Tunisia; Turkey; United States and Venezuela.
2Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Dominican
Republic, Luxembourg, El Salvador, Ghana, Honduras, Jamaica, Kenya, Nicaragua, Nigeria,
Philippines, Poland, Slovenia, and Uruguay.
371 Members including the European Commission.