The Washington, D.C.-based International Chamber of Commerce has issued a statement welcoming the “G20 support for Doha Round and pledge to fight protectionism.” However the ICC chided the conference participants for their “lack of support for strong monitoring system on protectionism.”
The ICC congratulated the G20 leaders for “taking a multilateral approach to resolving the world economic crisis.” In particular, the ICC applauded their agreement “to kick-start trade by significantly increasing trade finance, rapidly concluding the Doha Round of trade negotiations, and strengthening promises to avoid protectionist measures.”
The organization also said it “commended the decision to ensure US$250 billion of support for trade finance over the next two years and to encourage use of available flexibility in capital requirements for trade finance.” The ICC described the initiative as “an essential step, as trade, the lifeblood of the global economy, is expected to register a 9 percent drop this year, its biggest decline since World War II, according to the WTO.”
ICC Chairman Victor K. Fung stated “We are pleased with the G20’s recognition of the important role trade plays in economic revival. The G20 sent a strong signal that increasing trade finance is a key element to ending this recession.” He added that it was “exactly the right thing to do.”
The ICC also said it is “especially pleased with the renewed commitment to conclude the stalled Doha trade negotiations, which as the final G20 communiqué states, could boost the global economy by at least US$150 billion per year.”
“Let us hope that the words will turn into action and that the Doha Round will be concluded very soon,” Fung added. “Finally approving Doha would be a major step towards restoring confidence, getting trade flowing again, and ending this recession.”
In addition the ICC said it is “encouraged by the decision to extend the pledge made last November not to raise trade barriers to the end of 2010, to support the World Trade Organization’s efforts to monitor compliance on a regular basis and to rectify any protectionist measures. This is particularly important in light of a World Bank study indicating that since the G20 summit last November, 17 of the G20 countries adopted a total of 47 measures restricting trade.”
Fung indicated that, “promises to fight protectionism in all its forms are more than welcome, but the key now is to make certain that governments follow up on their good intentions not to raise trade and investment barriers.”
The ICC also welcomed the substantial increase in resources for the IMF and multilateral development banks to support growth in emerging market and developing countries.
Source: International Chamber of Commerce – www.iccwbo.org
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