ICC Marketing Commission Looks to Bring Sense to Debate Over Children’s Advertising

ICC Marketing & Advertising Commission members met at Microsoft’s San Francisco offices.

Amid a year-long celebration of the 80th anniversary of the International Chamber of Commerce’s landmark global marketing code (formally known as the ICC Consolidated Code of Advertising and Marketing Communications Practice), ICC members gathered in San Francisco on December 4-5 to discuss emerging challenges to the self-regulatory framework exemplified by the ICC Code.

The ICC Marketing and Advertising Commission, chaired by Brent Sanders, associate general counsel with Microsoft, meets twice annually, and this gathering marked the commission’s first visit to the West Coast in several years. Among the guest speakers was Jurgen Van Staden, privacy and public policy manager at Facebook, who addressed the evolving landscape for advertising self-regulation in a fast-evolving digital landscape and encouraged ICC members to ensure that the ICC Code remains fit for purpose.

Top of mind for many participants were new regulatory threats that may impose overly stringent constraints on the marketing of products to children and teenagers. National and global regulatory bodies are increasingly focused on the topic, and many policy responses seek to address “up-aging” (increasing the upper age limit of childhood), limitations on screen time, and privacy and data security, as well as many other concerns.

According to Jonathan Huneke, USCIB’s vice president for communications and public affairs, who attended the ICC meetings, business representatives are seeking to bridge the significant divergence of regulatory practice between the United States, the European Union and other jurisdictions.

“Not surprisingly, national standards for marketing and advertising can vary widely between countries,” he said. “To take one example, the EU’s soon-to-be-implemented General Data Privacy Regulation imposes an absolute right to privacy that may complicate efforts to comply with the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, where restrictions on the use of data is less restrictive for those aged 13 and over. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential regulatory divergence.

ICC members agreed to develop a toolkit to respond to threatened bans on marketing to children and teens, drawing upon the ICC Code, as well as related ICC guidance on food and beverage marketing, online advertising, and other issues. They will also explore conducting an outreach and educational campaign for policy makers around the world, to raise awareness of self-regulation as an effective means of maintaining high standards of marketing and advertising practice.

Commission members also reviewed proposed changes to the ICC Code in the areas of data-driven and interactive marketing. The next meeting of the ICC Marketing and Advertising Commission will take place in Paris in late June. You can view and download copies of the ICC Code and many other resources on marketing and advertising at ICC’s Codes Centre website.

Read more about USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee here.

Product Policy

product_policy

 

Chair

Sophia Danenberg
Manager, Environmental Health and Safety
Regulatory Program
The Boeing Company

Staff

Michael Michener
Vice President, Product Policy and Innovation
202-617-3159 or mmichener@uscib.org

Mia Lauter
Policy and Program Assistant
212-703-5082 or mlauter@uscib.org

What’s at Stake for Business

  • Chemicals are central to the modern economy and are used in the production of thousands of different products.
  • Inconsistent and unbalanced regulations will undermine market access and related industry initiatives.
  • Any new requirement that is inconsistent with existing guidelines would be unnecessarily burdensome
    to companies.

Current Priorities

  • Balanced approach to chemicals management that recognizes and respects intellectual property rights and protection of confidential business information.
  • Sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycles based on hazard and risk evaluations.
  • Regulatory coherence between differing chemicals management regimes.

USCIB At Work

USCIB represents U.S. business at high-level international conferences to defend and promote our members’ views.  When we succeed, our positions are reflected in the principles put forth in the chemicals management guidelines that are shaped:

  • At APEC, where we are the lead multisectoral U.S. business association at the APEC Chemical Dialogue advocating for the protection of confidential business information and regulatory cooperation with other chemicals management regimes.
  • At the UN, where we are ensuring that confidential business information and other industry interests are adequately protected in the SAICM Chemicals in Products (CiP) program, a voluntary initiative designed to give guidance on how to share relevant information on chemicals in products.
  • In Washington, where we meet regularly with U.S Environment Protection Agency and State Department officials to ensure that the U.S business position is well represented in various international chemicals management deliberations.

Recent Advocacy Engagement

USCIB brings together the upstream and downstream chemicals users from our member companies to provide industry expertise and inform discussions on international chemicals management guidelines. USCIB is also:

  • Providing technical work into the CiP project and is advocating for risk-based assessments of chemicals and the protection of confidential business information.
  • Pushing for regulatory cooperation among APEC regulators.

Who We Are

The USCIB International Product Policy Working Group is composed of USCIB member companies representing a range of business and industry sectors. Advocacy priorities are determined that reflect consensus among the members.

Mission

The Working Group works to ensure that U.S. products have timely access to markets around the world by advocating for product and chemical policies that minimize the risk of chemicals while reflecting good science, protecting confidential business information and avoiding technical barriers to trade.  USCIB influences chemicals management and product stewardship developments in a variety of international forums:

  • The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)
  • The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
  • The OECD

How to get involved

All USCIB members are eligible to participate in the USCIB International Product Policy Working Group. If you are a member and would like to be added to this working group or if you would like more information on how to become a member of USCIB, please contact:

Alison Hoiem
Senior Director, Member Services
(202) 682-1291 – ahoiem@uscib.org

News Stories

USCIB Gears Up for APEC CEO Summit in Vietnam (11/6/2017) - This week, USCIB’s Vice President of Product Policy and Innovation Mike Michener will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Da Nang, Viet Nam, as a business delegate and representative of the U.S. APEC Business Coalition.
USCIB’s “International Business” Summer 2017 Issue (8/15/2017) - The Summer 2017 issue features USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson‘s column on “Why International Organizations Matter to Your Business” as well as articles on developments in the B20, NAFTA and the UN high level political forum and the sustainable development agenda, plus news from our global network–Business at OECD, the International Organization of Employers and the International Chamber of Commerce.

Read More

Press Releases

USCIB Welcomes Michael Michener as Vice President of Product Policy and Innovation (2/21/2017) - The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) announced that Michael Michener, a former administrator of the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service who has also served as a U.S. trade diplomat and association executive, has joined USCIB’s staff as vice president of product policy and innovation.
U.S. Business Urges Revision of European Chemicals Guidelines (9/13/2006) - New York, N.Y., September 13, 2006 – The United States Council for International Business, which represents America’s top global companies, has voiced concern to European Union authorities over proposed implementation guidelines for EU legislation, known as REACH, to regulate over 30,000 chemicals and products made from them. REACH, which stands for “registration, evaluation, and authorization […]

Read More

USCIB 2017 International Leadership Award Dinner Honors Mastercard CEO and Celebrates SDGs

The 2017 USCIB Award dinner at the United Nations. L-R: Terry McGraw (S&P Global), Ajay Banga (Mastercard and 2017 honoree), Amina Mohammed (United Nations), Peter Robinson (USCIB)

At last night’s USCIB 2017 International Leadership Award Dinner, USCIB members and representatives of the international community turned out to honor Mastercard President and CEO Ajay Banga and celebrate the private sector’s contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The dinner, which was held at United Nations headquarters in New York, drew over 220 high-level private sector individuals, UN dignitaries as well as press and featured keynote remarks by UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed.

“Business leaders are ever more eager to work with governments on the 2030 Development Agenda,” said Mohammed, praising the involvement and “sustained momentum” that has been achieved by the private sector to date. While urging the private sector to continue working towards the achievement of the goals by 2030, she also noted, “The UN itself needs to change since it has not yet fulfilled its full potential.”

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson, who gave welcoming remarks, highlighted 2017 milestones for the business community in aligning actions with the UN’s 2030 Development Agenda. “This has been a watershed year for American business in terms of focusing its attention on the importance of working effectively with international institutions – not just the UN, but also the G20, OECD, ILO and so many others,” said Robinson. “A key milestone came toward the end of last year, when the International Chamber of Commerce, one of three global business organizations for which USCIB serves as the American affiliate, won top-level Observer Status in the United Nations General Assembly.”

Terry McGraw, chairman of USCIB and chairman emeritus of McGraw Hill (now S&P Financial) echoed Robinson’s sentiments stating, “With elections and changing government leaders and priorities in the United States and literally around the world, it is more important than ever for business to stand up and continue to press forward an agenda that will strengthen important institutions and rules by which we work and trade.” McGraw also specifically acknowledged the role of the UN, noting, “To build a better world, we need institutions like the United Nations to function effectively and harmoniously, representing not just all of their member governments, but all interested stakeholders.”

Ajay Banga (Mastercard) and Eric Roston (Bloomberg News) engage in a fireside chat during the dinner

However the award honoree Banga emphasized that more needs to be done. “More than 2 billion adults around the world don’t have access to formal financial services, and the majority of them are women,” he said. “They have no way to do the things we take for granted – pay a bill, save money for a rainy day, borrow on reasonable terms. They are trapped in a cycle of poverty and faced with systemic barriers to the resources that would allow them change their situations and contribute to the growth and resilience of their communities. The private sector has a major responsibility and role to play in driving financial inclusion and, ultimately, inclusive growth, by bringing investment, innovation and scale to the table.”

The leadership award, which was established in 1980, is presented to a leading CEO, international figure or institution, and recognizes outstanding contributions to global trade, finance and investment, and to improving the global competitive framework in which American business operates. In honoring Banga, USCIB also recognized Mastercard’s leading work in global financial inclusion. Upon accepting the award, Banga was joined by Eric Roston, chief sustainability editor with Bloomberg News, for a “fireside chat” exploring Banga’s thoughts on business leadership and sustainability.

The gala event also served to showcase the private sector’s efforts to align its activities with the SDGs, including via a new video, spotlighting a number of USCIB member companies, for the Business for 2030 web platform launched by USCIB two years ago. Please visit www.Businessfor2030.org to learn more about what companies are doing to achieve the SDGs.

Banga’s other achievements include leadership roles as member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations and as a founding trustee of the U.S. – India Strategic Partnership Forum. He also served as a member of President Barack Obama’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. Prior to Mastercard, Banga was chief executive of Citigroup’s Asia Pacific. He began his career at Nestle in India, where he also spent two years with PepsiCo.

Fall/Winter 2017 Issue of International Business Now Live

USCIB’s “International Business” Fall/Winter 2017 issue is now live!

The Fall/Winter 2017 issue features USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson‘s column on “The Global Goals: a blueprint for partnership and action” as well as articles on developments in the UN General Assembly, NAFTA and the World Trade Organization, plus news from our global network–Business at OECD, the International Organization of Employers and the International Chamber of Commerce.

“International Business,” USCIB’s quarterly journal, provides essential insight into major trade and investment topics, a high-level overview of USCIB policy advocacy and services, USCIB member news and updates from our global business network.

Subscribe to USCIB’s International Business Magazine

Subscriptions to “International Business” are available free upon request to representatives of USCIB member organizations. Contact us to subscribe.

Non-members may subscribe to “International Business” and other USCIB print publications at an annual rate of $50 (U.S.) for domestic delivery, or $75 for overseas delivery. Contact us to subscribe. USCIB’s annual report, studies from the United States Council Foundation and related publications are included with your paid subscription.

Our free electronic newsletter, “International Business Weekly,” provides regular updates on USCIB’s major activities and priorities. Click here to view a sample issue. Click here to subscribe.

We welcome outside submissions and inquiries regarding our publications – send them to news@uscib.org.

We welcome advertising in International Business magazine — special discounted rates for USCIB member organizations! Contact Kira Yevtukhova (kyevtukhova@uscib.org) for more information.

Hampl Addresses the Costs of Corruption and Bribery on Panel

USCIB’s Eva Hampl second from left. Photograph courtesy of Washington College of Law

As the OECD celebrated 20 years of the Anti-Bribery Convention last week, USCIB’s Director for Investment, Trade and Financial Services  Eva Hampl took part in a panel at the event “Celebrating the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention at 20, the FCPA at 40 & Addressing the Challenges Ahead”.

Hampl addressed the cost that corruption and bribery present to business and the important role the OECD plays to level the playing field in that regard. Specifically, companies from OECD countries, who have to comply with the OECD Anti-bribery Convention, compete with companies from non-OECD countries that are not subject to the same anti-bribery measures.

“This leads to unfair competition and can even create an environment favorable to corrupt practices,” warned Hampl. “U.S. companies of course have to comply with the FCPA, which means they spend a significant amount of resources on developing anti-corruption policies and compliance programs as well as training systems for employees so that they are well-equipped to withstand demands for corruption.”

Other speakers at the event included Stuart Eizenstat, former domestic policy advisor, President Carter & U.S. Ambassador to the EU, Under Secretary of Commerce, Deputy Secretary of Treasury, Drago Kos, chair of the OECD Working Group on Bribery, as well as officials from the Department of Justice and anti-corruption experts from international and policy organizations.

The OECD Anti-bribery Convention is a landmark instrument addressing the bribery of foreign officials. The OECD, with its multi-disciplinary nature, has the capacity to take a coordinated approach to the right against corruption. While we commend the work the OECD has already done in this space, there are several issues where USCIB advocates for further work to be done: (1) Increased adherence to the Convention, particularly b G20 countries; (2) Increased efforts to address the demand side of bribery (i.e. bribe solicitation and extortion by public officials); (3) More measures to facilitate voluntary self-disclosure; and (4) Addressing the growing complexity and costs of complying with multiple anti-bribery regimes by promoting clarity and greater international consistency.

Additionally, Hampl also attended the event No Turning Back: 40 Years of the FCPA and 20 Years of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. The agenda included speakers from various U.S. government offices that play an integral part enforcing the FCPA, OECD officials, foreign government officials, representatives from academia and international institutions, as well as the private sector, including General Electric and Citibank. The keynote address to kick off the event was given by Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco.

Business Dialogue at Climate COP Underscores Need for Inclusive Engagement

Continuing a series of Business Dialogues at UN Climate Conference meetings (COPs) in Doha, Warsaw, Lima and Marrakesh, the Major Economies Business Forum on Energy Security and Climate Change (BizMEF) and USCIB organized a successful Business Dialogue on Sunday, November 12 in Siegburg, Germany on the margins of this year’s UN Climate Conference, known as COP23.

BizMEF is a partnership of over 20 major multi-sectoral business organizations – including USCIB – from major economies and international sectoral organizations.

This year’s BizMEF Business Dialogue discussed where business can contribute to national pledge development and review, and how business can be involved in the global review of pre-2020 climate action by countries and business, known as the Talanoa Dialogue, to be administered by Fiji.

USCIB and BizMEF have called for the establishment of a recognized channel for business engagement on these and other elements of the Paris Agreement and UNFCCC.  BizMEF’s 2017 COP23 Issue Papers address business issues and are now available here.

The dialogue featured Fijian Ambassador to the EU Deo Saran. Fiji holds the presidency of this year’s climate negotiations, and will facilitate the Talanoa Dialogue.  Ambassador Saran stated: “We are aiming for a COP that delivers tangible results and inspires a race to the top.  When it comes to climate change action, each of us has a responsibility, including business. We are all in the same canoe.”

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson called for an open, inclusive framework for business engagement in the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement. He welcomed the Talanoa Dialogue as “a way to bring together and consider the diverse national experiences and actions, to understand what has worked well, and identify where changes could be made to promote progress.  It is to be a dialogue, not a zero-sum negotiation. As such it is well suited for inclusion of business know how and experiences.”

The BizMEF Business Dialogue brought together over 50 participants from among government delegations, business leaders, academics and officials from the UNFCCC and relevant international organizations. High-level speakers at the event included:

  • Tomasz Chruszczow, Poland, SBI chair (Subsidiary Body for Implementation)
  • Marion Ferrat, IPCC Working Group III (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
  • Yvon Slingenberg, director general for environment, European Commission
  • Ambassador Patrick Suckling, [minister of?] environment, Australia
  • Trigg Talley, head of the Office of Global Change, U.S. Department of State
  • Jun Arima, professor of energy and environmental policy, University of Tokyo

Norine Kennedy, USCIB’s vice president for environment, energy and strategic international engagement, highlighted the growing issue of perceived conflict of interest and proposed sectoral bans at the UNFCCC and elsewhere in the multilateral system.  “We need to move forward, not backward,” she remarked. “If business and industry have contributed to climate change, it should be equally true that we play a significant role in tackling climate change. The reality is that it will not be possible to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement without the robust and coordinated participation of the global business community in all its diversity.”

USCIB will continue to represent the private sector at COP23, through its conclusion on November 16. USCIB will also host an “on-the-ground” webinar from Bonn for USCIB members on Wednesday, November 15.  For more information on the webinar, please contact Mia Lauter (mlauter@uscib.org).

USCIB Participates in UN Meeting on Proposed Human Rights Treaty

Gabriella Rigg Herzog speaks on behalf of Employers at Human Rights meeting in Geneva

USCIB Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Rigg Herzog  traveled to Geneva last week to represent Employers at the United Nations Intergovernmental Working Group on transnational corporations and other business entities with respect to human rights (IGWG). Chaired by Ecuador, the meeting followed two IGWG sessions in 2015 and 2016 which entailed general discussions on issues including the scope and applicability of a proposed binding instrument. This third meeting focused on a “Draft Elements” paper which was drafted by the Chair and served as a deliverable from the first two sessions.

As in previous sessions, business and key governments clearly stated their view that a treaty was unnecessary, and could risk distracting time and focus from the established global consensus surrounding the primacy of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) as the authoritative global framework that sets out the roles for governments and business on protecting and respecting human rights, and the need for greater access to justice for victims of alleged corporate-related human rights abuse. Additionally, business and key governments stressed that focusing solely on transnational corporations was not appropriate, and that any future instrument should cover all business entities, in particular, national companies.

Herzog made two interventions during the proceedings, focusing on legal liability and on international cooperation. On legal liability, Herzog underscored that “States have the primary duty to develop strong national institutions, as well as promulgate and effectively enforce domestic laws covering ALL companies within its borders, regardless of whether they participate in global supply chains or not.” Given that, Herzog emphasized the need to “avoid creating a two-tiered compliance system, whereby individuals, communities or workers that suffer business-related alleged harms involving TNCs have greater protections, but the rest get lesser or diluted protections and remediation.”

On international cooperation, Herzog highlighted the power of peer pressure, and existing UN mechanisms that could be leveraged by governments to encourage other governments to fulfil their State duty to protect human rights  – including through the development of National Action Plans in accordance with the UNGPs. “Peer pressure between States can be realized under the existing architecture by better harnessing the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review process.” said Herzog. “We understand that States are starting to receive more recommendations from other States on the topic of business and human rights. This process could be used to encourage more “national action plans” (NAPs) on business and human rights that take note of the guidance prepared by the UN Working Group.”

According to Herzog, NAPs have not had as much attention in this third session because there is no explicit reference to them in the “elements” paper. “This is a pity,” she said in her intervention. “Taking aside the critique that some existing plans could have included more focus on the third pillar of the UN Guiding Principles, NAPs are a practical and useful tool.”

Herzog also emphasized in her comments that “international cooperation” is a broad topic that expands out beyond the specific discussions of this third session. The international business community is actively involved in a large number of initiatives on how to respond to social, labor and environmental challenges across the world, including the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs). Human rights are a central part, and the SDG agenda explicitly seeks to harness global partnerships and bring together governments, the private sector, civil society, the United Nations system and other actors and mobilize all available resources.

This third meeting concluded with some confusion over next steps, with the Chair expressing the position that its IGWG mandate would continue until a treaty was drafted and agreed. Other key parties, however, believe the Chair needs to seek a renewal of its 3-year mandate next summer from the Human Rights Council in order to proceed with a fourth meeting. USCIB will continue to monitor developments on this issue closely.

 

USCIB Meets with OECD Director to Discuss Health Work

USCIB’s Food and Agriculture and Healthcare Working Groups met last week with Stefano Scarpetta, director of Employment, Labor and Social Affairs for the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The meeting reinforced longstanding USCIB and Business at OECD cooperation in other issue areas and the need to improve the engagement between business and the OECD Health Committee.

USCIB outlined four areas of recommendations to Scarpetta in the hopes of improving future interactions with member states and the health division secretariat, including helping member states understand the role of Business at OECD and its national affiliates, tracking input from Business at OECD and national affiliates, increasing diversity in perspectives among OECD health division staff and better use of OECD expert groups.

“The OECD benefits from broad input from the private sector on its work on health policy.  We believe that increasing the number and diversity of business representatives allowed to attend OECD Health Committee and related expert group meetings can only improve OECD’s work in the health sector,” said Mike Michener, USCIB’s vice president for Product Policy and Innovation who leads USCIB’s work on health, food and agriculture.

Michener noted that while concerns remain, good progress was made in initiating an improved dialogue with the OECD Health Committee going forward.

Hampl Raises Anti-Corruption and Transparency Concerns at SOE Meeting

USCIB’s Eva Hampl speaks on panel at OECD meetings on SOE’s in Paris

Eva Hampl, USCIB’s director for investment, trade and financial services was in Paris last week representing USCIB at a special roundtable at the OECD on Integrity, the Fight Against Corruption and Responsible Business Conduct in the State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Sector.

As a discussant on the issue of transparency, Hampl noted that SOEs are increasing in global commerce, where 22% of the world’s largest 100 firms are effectively under state control. “As SOEs proliferate, they disadvantage companies operating without state support or control,” warned Hampl.

The OECD Foreign Bribery Report, which was published December 2014 and is based on data from the 427 foreign bribery cases that have been concluded since the entry into force of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in 1999, found that bribes were offered or given most frequently to employees of SOEs at 27% of the total cases.

“SOEs are particularly vulnerable to corruption due to factors such as a close relationship between government, politicians and the SOE senior management, and in some cases lack of transparency and reporting,” said Hampl. In addition to the foreign bribery report, OECD research has found that 43 % of SOE employees surveyed have witnessed corruption and other rule-breaking in their company in the last three years.

“Corruption is a cost, also for SOEs,” Hampl added. “The OECD has stated that disclosure and transparency are some of the main concerns regarding market distortions caused by SOEs – the other concern is that SOEs are acting as agents of a sovereign government. The focus on transparency, in which space the OECD has done further work, is certainly important, however with the caveat that in the case of leveling the playing field as to SOEs, it is not a goal in itself.”

Hampl added that there has been a concerning global trend in recent years toward transferring liability from governments onto companies. “This is something that needs to be addressed. To truly level the playing field between SOEs and companies competing in the global market, SOEs must be held to the same standards.”

Following the roundtable, Hampl also participated in the consultation with the OECD Working Party on State Ownership and Privatization Practices, where she reiterated many of the points made at the roundtable, as well as emphasized the importance of the OECD to focus on the demand side of bribery.

Additionally, on the afternoon of Wednesday November 29, USCIB Vice President for Trade and Financial Services Shaun Donnelly will offer business perspectives on a panel discussion on “The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention at 20:  Successes and Challenges for the Future” organized by the Coalition for Integrity on the margins of their annual gala dinner later that evening.   Panelists being finalized but those invited include: Lucinda Low, member, Board of Directors, Coalition for Integrity, Nicola Bonucci (OECD) and Bruce Swartz, Department of Justice.

Business at OECD Calls for Integrated Health Policies to Stimulate Growth and Productivity

OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria (left) makes remarks at the Health Forum

Well-designed health policies that are put into practice are essential for the growth and productivity of our economies and the well-being of our societies. This was the main message from private sector, government representatives, and the OECD gathered for the 2nd Business at OECD (BIAC) Annual Forum on Health.

The Forum saw the work undertaken by the private sector to develop truly integrated healthcare, foster innovation, and promote balanced choices for improving well-being. “The digital transformation of healthcare systems will provide fresh opportunities for better care, newer treatments and greater focus on the needs of patients,” said Nicole Denjoy, chair of the BIAC Health Committee. “To achieve this, we need policies that create the right incentives and collaborative environments to drive investment in innovation and technology” she added.

Experts also addressed efforts to encourage balanced nutrition and active lifestyles as an important part of the fight against non-communicable diseases. Speakers stressed the critical role that policy coherence in the fields of health, trade, finance, industry, and education sectors plays in supporting growth and productivity. Commenting on the role of international collaboration, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría stated, “Poor health harms people, lowers productivity, and ultimately undermines growth. The OECD is supporting the business community’s efforts to help shape the future of health policy and promote good employee and customer health”.

Also addressing Forum participants, World Intellectual Property Organization Director General Francis Gurry said “Innovation is vital for addressing the health challenges of today and tomorrow. But the innovation we need is more complex than ever before and requires greater collaboration, benefiting from a wide range of knowledge and expertise. We must provide a framework for bringing new medicines and technologies from concept and creation to production and patients. Intellectual property, in particular patents, are a necessary encouragement to this innovation.”

The Forum was moderated by Riz Khan, international journalist and TV host.