Global Business Puts Forward Trade Agenda That Could Create 21 Million Jobs

Remy Rowhani, director general of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, speaks at the ICC World Trade Agenda Summit.
Remy Rowhani, director general of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, speaks at the ICC World Trade Agenda Summit.

Doha, Qatar and New York, N.Y., April 22, 2013 – The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has finalized recommendations for WTO member countries to salvage parts of the Doha Round which, if adopted, could boost global GDP by $960 billion (U.S.) annually and create 21 million new jobs, according to ICC’s American national committee, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB).

Several hundred business leaders and trade experts met in Doha for the ICC World Trade Agenda Summit, held on the first day of ICC’s biennial World Chambers Congress. The four-day Congress is set to gather 1,000 delegates from chambers of commerce, global companies and SMEs around the world. USCIB Chairman Harold McGraw III and USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson were among summit participants.

Delegates at the summit gave their stamp of approval to a final set of business priorities that would provide a debt-free stimulus to the global economy at a time when governments are struggling to inject growth into their economies.

By simplifying customs procedures – through trade facilitation measures – alone, member countries would deliver global job gains of 21 million, with developing countries gaining more than 18 million jobs and developed countries increasing their workforce by three million.

ICC and the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry in March 2012 launched the ICC Business World Trade Agenda in response to calls from WTO members and from G20 leaders for fresh approaches following a 12-year impasse in multilateral trade negotiations.

“ICC has consulted with business around the world to develop a set of practical steps for reaching a new trade consensus,” said ICC Chairman Gerard Worms. “As the actors of trade in the daily marketplace, we are well placed to shed new light on stalled talks. We will mobilize CEOs around the world to make the case to national governments for this new trade agenda.”

The initiative has developed five recommendations that could achieve tangible outcomes by the end of 2013, to harvest gains from the WTO’s Doha Development Round. These are:

  • Conclude a trade facilitation agreement
  • Implement duty-free and quota-free market access for exports from least-developed countries
  • Phase out agricultural export subsidies
  • Renounce food export restrictions
  • Expand trade in IT products and encourage growth of e-commerce worldwide

Business recommendations from this event will be delivered to G20 leaders and WTO ministers ahead of the next G20 Summit in Saint Petersburg and the WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali later this year. The Peterson Institute in Washington, D.C. recently studied ICC’s Business World Trade Agenda, to quantify the potential benefits from the recommendations.

“The potential gains in terms of exports, jobs and GDP growth from multilateral trade liberalization are substantial,” said Victor K. Fung, ICC’s honorary chairman. ”For these reasons, international business strongly encourages political leaders to steer clear of protectionism and nationalism – and return to building inclusive open trade to stimulate global recovery and growth for many years to come.”

About USCIB:

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include 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, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at


Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
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Download a copy of the Peterson Report (ICC website)

Download a copy of the ICC Business World Trade Agenda’s business priorities (ICC website)

More on USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee

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Kira Yevtukhova manages USCIB’s print and online publications, including the website, e-newsletter and quarterly magazine, and serves as the organization’s digital media strategist. Prior to this role, Kira worked for over five years within USCIB’s Policy Department, focusing on climate change, environment, nutrition, health, and chemicals related policy issues. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and is currently pursuing an MBA at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.
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