Int’l. Chamber of Commerce Calls on G8 to Avoid Economic Nationalism

June 15, 2009

“The G8 summit should resist pressures to resort to economic nationalism and should further strengthen international cooperation to meet the challenges posed by the global recession, climate change and product counterfeiting,” said a bulletin from the International Chamber of Commerce addressed to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the host of the upcoming meeting on July 8 to 10.

“We stressed to the Prime Minister the importance of resisting protectionist pressures, which would only lead to a deeper and longer world recession,” stated ICC Honorary Chairman Marcus Wallenberg, following private session discussions. In addition to Wallenberg, the ICC delegation included ICC Vice Chairman Rajat Gupta and Andrea Tomat, Chairman of ICC Italy and CEO of Lotto Sport Italia.

“With the world as economically integrated as it has become over recent decades, any lurch into economic nationalism would dislocate commercial activity even further,” he added. The delegation also told the Prime Minister of the urgent need “to increase trade finance on which international trade – the lifeblood of the international economy – heavily depends.”

The ICC repeated its call on the G8 to finally summon the political will to complete the long-stalled Doha Round of trade negotiations. The “current global crisis” has made this more urgent than ever. The ICC also praised the recent promises by G20 leaders to refrain from raising trade barriers before the end of 2010.

The ICC said that, while there were “some hopeful signs that the recession may be bottoming out in some major economies, the immediate priority was to increase demand and credit. It also urged the world’s most industrialized countries to find more effective ways to reduce the growing imbalances in their external current accounts and warned against a mood of regulatory enthusiasm in business sectors where self-regulation is working well.”

On the subject of climate change the ICC encouraged the G8 to “play a leadership role,” and expressed its “strong support for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that will try to reach a new global agreement in Copenhagen this December to regulate green house gas emissions.

“ICC said the new agreement must include all major green house gas emitters and provide business with a clear, stable, and predictable framework to stimulate investment and deploy technology on the necessary scale.”

“Climate change is perhaps the best example of a global problem requiring a global solution,” Gupta observed after the meeting. “We are worried, however, by proposals in some countries to enact unilateral trade measures to address concerns arising from differences in climate policy among countries.”

The ICC delegation said that while it was encouraged that product counterfeiting and copyright piracy have become a regular topic on the G8 summit agenda, the problem continues to grow and presents a rapidly increasing danger to society.

“The result is unfair competition for legitimate economic activity and the unchecked growth of an underground economy that deprives governments of revenues for vital public services, dislocates hundreds of thousands of legitimate jobs, and exposes consumers to dangerous and ineffective products, including medicines,” said Tomat, Chairman of ICC Italy.

The ICC called for concrete action in this vital area, including the swift conclusion of an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that will set new and higher standards for national and international governmental action to deal with counterfeiting and piracy and the creation of an IPR Customs Taskforce – charging it with the responsibility to establish better operational cooperation amongst G8 customs authorities, support customs capacity-building in developing countries, and share best practices on security controls and free trade zones.

To read the full ICC statement to the G8 in English, go to:’Aquila_G8_statement_2009.pdf

To read the full ICC statement to the G8 in French, go to:’Aquila_Summit_ICC_statement_FR.pdf

To read the full ICC statement to the G8 in Italian go to:’Aquila_ita.pdf

Source: International Chamber of Commerce –

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