Renewed Focus on Investment Urged
USCIB and its partners in BIAC have urged the OECD to sharpen its focus on policies affecting cross-border investment. An April 17 letter from BIAC Secretary General Bernhard Welschke to OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria reflected on recent high-level BIAC-OECD discussions of FDI.
Welschke wrote that “business observes a proliferation of restrictions on foreign direct investment, often hidden and difficult to counter.” He said the OECD must continue to serve as a champion of cross-border investment – and the jobs and growth it spurs.
Other examples of the renewed focus on investment issues include the January annual BIAC Executive Board meeting with OECD ambassadors, where Charles Heeter, BIAC’s U.S. board member, played a lead role, and USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson’s participation at the Tokyo consultation (see main article).
At an April 8 consultation in Tokyo, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC) called on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and on the government of Japan to promote policies that facilitate open and efficient markets and lead to more sustainable growth.
BIAC, representing the leading business organizations in OECD countries, pointed to the importance of trade and investment as major engines of the world economy.
“We are at a crossroad for our economies and business,” said BIAC Chair Phil O’Reilly, the chief executive of Business New Zealand.
“Much has been said about ways to distribute income and wealth in our societies, but not enough concerning the question how we better encourage entrepreneurship, investment, and employment. We are prepared to support an OECD agenda that will promote structural reforms in OECD countries to strengthen the resilience of our economies and societies.”
BIAC Vice Chair Katsutoshi Saito, chairman of Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Company, underlined the need for a “more coordinated approach to financial regulation that is conducive to economic growth, financial stability and investment.”
USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson said: “Implementation of the WTO Bali package is pivotal to strengthening international trade. The challenge for 2014 and beyond will be for governments to develop policies that reflect the needs and realities of the contemporary trade environment. The OECD has an important role to play in providing the economic analysis on global value chains that illustrate the positive impact of trade policies for our economies and societies.”