ICC Asia Pacific CEO Forum Says Unlock Liquidity to Spur Global Trade

November 25, 2008

The first Regional CEO Forum for Asia-Pacific held by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Hong Kong Saturday called for an immediate response to the financial meltdown by unlocking liquidity and getting trade flowing again.

ICC Chairman Victor K. Fung stated: “One immediate step that the Forum identified was the need for governments to provide additional guarantees to government-backed export credit insurance agencies, such as the scheme that the Hong Kong SAR Government has implemented with the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation. This will encourage banks to finance trade transactions with minimum risk.”

The ICC said the “two-day conference involved more than 150 CEOs and senior executives from major corporations across 10 countries in the region as well as ICC directors from across the world. They urged Asian business leaders to play a greater role in addressing the current financial crisis and called on the global business community to make itself heard on issues of international finance, regulation, trade and improved governance.”

“The Forum sought to identify some longer-term global issues but it was clear that these regional business leaders were convinced of the need for urgent and decisive action on key points,” Fung added. “We agreed that the crisis represents an opportunity for business and government to work together on new initiatives to restore confidence and stability,” he added.

“There are many lessons that can be learned from Asian economies, which have addressed significant economic downturns. Valuable contributions can be made which can assist in crafting short and longer-term solutions,” he continued.

The Forum, titled “Looking at the Global Economy from Asia-Pacific Perspectives,” provided a platform for CEOs in the region to meet and debate challenges and prospects facing the global economy.

It also endorsed the need to reshape the global regulatory system to better address the changed global financial environment. Fung stressed that there is “a compelling case for a rules-based financial regime supported by a dispute resolution system similar to how global trade is conducted.”

The Forum also reiterated its stance against the increasing risk of protectionism, which threatens long-term global peace and prosperity. “Members were united in calling for the successful conclusion of the Doha Round and the promotion of multilateral trade.

ICC will step up its efforts to respond to the financial crisis, to support multilateral trade, and to voice the concerns of business worldwide,” said the bulletin.

Source: International Chamber of Commerce – www.iccwbo.org

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