A prime opportunity to further liberalize multilateral trade presents itself next month when ministers from 159 countries converge at the 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in Bali.
In the home stretch to the crucial negotiations, the International Chamber of Commerce is urging all WTO members to seal a trade facilitation deal that would contribute to economic growth and job creation by simplifying administrative procedures and standards that dictate how goods cross borders or how they are handled in customs.
The conclusion of a WTO agreement on trade facilitation at the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali is one of five business recommendations put forward by business through the ICC Business World Trade Agenda (WTA) initiative launched in March 2011. The initiative set out to consult CEOs and senior executives in all major regions of the world in a bid to outline priorities for a practical and forward-looking trade policy agenda.
“Moving forward with the WTO’s trade facilitation agreement should be a top priority given the substantial potential benefits,” said ICC Chairman Terry McGraw, chairman of McGraw Hill Financial [now S&P Global] and also chairman of USCIB. “After years of stalemate on the global trade agenda, there is now a real opportunity to achieve a meaningful result that increases market access and creates openings that unleash more opportunities for higher growth throughout the world.”
USCIB Senior Vice President Rob Mulligan will be among the ICC and other business representatives attending the Bali ministerial.
ICC has called on WTO members to show political will at the highest levels to reach an agreement on trade facilitation and to make commitments and compromises that recognize the common interest in success and the collective cost of failure.
One ICC study has found that reaching an agreement on trade facilitation could not only boost global gross domestic product by $960 billion (U.S.) but also increase exports of developing countries by $570 billion and of developed countries by $475 billion. A further benefit would be the associated creation of 21 million jobs, 18 million of which would be in developing economies.
Read more on ICC’s website.
Staff contacts: Rob Mulligan