At Paris Dialogue OECD Seeks Business Input on Obstacles to Trade

USCIB’s Rob Mulligan at the OECD International Business Dialogue
USCIB’s Rob Mulligan at the OECD International Business Dialogue

The OECD International Business Dialogue 2013, held earlier this month in Paris in partnership with BIAC, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, brought together government officials and business representatives from OECD member countries, as well as major emerging economies, to identify the most pressing obstacles to international trade and contribute to informed policymaking based on first-hand insights.

As part of the dialogue, the OECD asked companies to complete a survey entitled, “What are the obstacles that your company faces in doing business internationally?” The survey is available here. Results will be made available in April.

USCIB Senior Vice President Rob Mulligan presented dialogue participants with the key findings of a recent study commissioned by USCIB and the Business Roundtable on the emergence of global supply networks as key platforms for international trade and investment. He said governments have a lot to do in terms of facilitating cross-border commerce if they want to avoid standing in the way of their own countries’ potential economic progress.

“Many governments don’t seem to recognize that the way companies do business globally has changed over the last 10-15 years, or they are intentionally trying to turn the clock back on current business models,” Mulligan said. “Our member companies are encountering policies and practices in many countries that seek to limit their ability to move goods and services across borders. These policies make it more difficult for companies to build and utilize the supply networks that are critical to their growth.”

The chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, Gerard Worms, discussing ICC’s Open Market Index, which rates countries on their openness to international trade and investment, said that government authorities equipped with better information on their country’s market performance were better able to honor commitments on open trade and investment and resist taking protectionist measures to “protect” domestic industries and jobs.

“While G20 leaders play a key role in ensuring that governments around the world work collectively to lower trade barriers and stimulate growth and job creation, the Open Markets Index reveals that rather than leading by example, most G20 countries achieve only average scores for openness,” said Worms. “In particular, high-growth BRIC economies tend to perform below average on most measures of openness.” Read more on ICC’s website.

U.S. business delegation visits OECD

BIAC Chairman Charles Heeter and OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria speak with the visiting American business delegation.
BIAC Chairman Charles Heeter and OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria speak with the visiting American business delegation.

Later in the month, BIAC Chairman Charles Heeter (Deloitte), who also serves on USCIB’s board, led a delegation of executives from primarily American companies to Paris to meet with OECD officials and learn more about the organization’s work, priorities and interface with the business community.

Over two days, the delegation discussed broad global economic challenges and the OECD’s work related to the G20, as well as OECD initiatives in the areas of tax, trade, the Internet, corporate governance and energy.

All told, executives from some three dozen companies took part in the delegation.

Staff contact: Rob Mulligan

More on USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee

Staff Contact:   Alice Slayton Clark

Director, Investment, Trade and China
Tel: 202.682.0051

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