Meeting in Sardinia, they also call for open trade and a concerted effort on climate
Santa Margherita di Pula, Italy, April 24, 2009 – Business leaders from the G8 nations gathered in Sardinia yesterday and today to address urgent global economic issues. Their conclusions and recommendations are contained in a joint declaration that will be presented to the G8 heads of state in preparation for July’s G8 Summit in Abruzzo, Italy.
The G8 Business Summit, hosted by Confindustria, the Italian Confederation of Industry, focused on three pressing issues: responses to the financial and economic crisis, free trade and investment, and the need to tackle climate change.
The United States was represented by William G. Parrett, chairman of the United States Council for International Business, Harold W. McGraw III, CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies and chairman of the Business Roundtable, and Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The business summit is the fourth multilateral meeting to be organized by the main business associations representing the private sector in the countries that make up the G8. The first G8 Business Summit was held in Berlin in 2007, followed by Tokyo in 2008 and an extraordinary Summit dedicated to the financial crisis, held in December 2008 in Paris.
The main conclusions of the 2009 summit, contained in detail in the G8 Business Summit joint declaration, are:
Response to the financial and economic crisis: Business Leaders addressed the need to find short- and medium- to long-term solutions to address recovery of the real economy by stimulating economic growth, employment, global trade and investment. The greatest and most urgent efforts must be directed at avoiding and mitigating the impact of a broader credit crunch. It is crucial to restore companies’ access to finance at reasonable prices. The need to durably reinforce financial stability requires proper financial market reforms ensuring a suitable balance between better regulation and risk prevention.
Free trade and investment: Business Leaders called for open trade and sound investment policies, which are vital in strengthening economic growth, job creation and industry competitiveness, and are especially important to small and medium companies, severely affected by the credit and liquidity crunch and by increasing limitations on market access worldwide. The economic situation requires G8 governments to strengthen and publicly renew their full commitment to an open global economy. The successful conclusion of the Doha Round in 2009 lies at the heart of all possible strategies as it is the most effective way to establish a level playing field at the global level and its positive conclusion would weaken the drifts towards protectionism and isolationism in the global economy. The delivery of an ambitious and balanced WTO agreement would be a concrete symbol of effective international cooperation and the strongest possible stimulus for the recovery of the global economy and for the growth of developing and less developed economies. G8 Business also calls for the conclusion of the negotiations for the accession of Russia to the WTO before completion of the Doha Round.
Tackling climate change: the road to Copenhagen. Business Leaders called for a concerted global effort based on long-term cooperative action as the only way to succeed in tackling the issue of climate change. The forthcoming Copenhagen UNFCCC conference is a great opportunity to reach a global agreement based on clear, equitable and firm worldwide commitments to emission reduction. Business accepts its share of the responsibility and has already made major changes in operations including introducing new processes, products and services to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and will continue to tackle climate change. However, business calls for the full burden of emissions reduction to be shared among all emitters. Tackling climate change can unleash numerous business opportunities, provided that innovation and technological development are properly encouraged. To effectively achieve emissions reduction targets, business needs to remain competitive. Clear, predictable and stable frameworks are essential for long-term planning and investments at national, regional and international levels. At the same time, policies must be balanced to avoid diverting resources away from innovation and encouraging protectionist barriers to trade.
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation. Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.
Jonathan Huneke, VP Communications, USCIB
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