ICC Urges G8 to Press for Global Trade Accord

Leaders of the world’s richest countries will gather at the annual G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany June 6-8.
Leaders of the world’s richest countries will gather at the annual G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany June 6-8.

Halting investment protectionism, encouraging energy efficiency and stopping counterfeiting and piracy also business priorities for G8 summit

Paris and New York, May 23, 2007 – Even at this desperately late hour, a good deal can be struck in the Doha round of multilateral trade talks if G8 leaders intensify their diplomatic efforts, the International Chamber of Commerce said today in its annual statement on behalf of the world business community to the heads of state and government who will attend the G8 summit.

Leaders of the world’s richest countries will gather at the annual G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany on 6-8 June to find ways of addressing the most pressing issues affecting the world economic order.

With more than 8,000 member companies in over 130 countries, the Paris-based ICC is the largest, most representative private sector association in the world.  The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), based in New York, serves as ICC’s American national committee.

Last month, USCIB Chairman William G. Parrett, CEO of Deloitte and a member of the ICC Executive Board, took part in the first-ever G8 business summit in Berlin, where the heads of major business federations from each of the G8 nations met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to urge action on the key issues reflected in the ICC statement.

The Doha trade round represents a historic opportunity to generate economic growth, raise living standards and create potential for development across the world that should not be squandered. World leaders need to urgently devote their personal attention to reaching an agreement so that rapid progress can be made on the contours of a balanced package of measures to substantially improve market access in agriculture, industrial products and services, facilitate trade and update WTO rules.

It seems that a final and very narrow window of opportunity has opened up to forge an agreement in the weeks ahead, even though the U.S. Congress will have to be called upon to extend the president’s trade negotiating authority, ICC said.

ICC has a close working relationship with the G8 and many other intergovernmental organizations, including the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. The core mission of ICC is to promote trade and investment across frontiers and help business corporations meet the challenges and opportunities of globalization.

Reverse the trend toward investment protectionism
G8 governments must set an example for the rest of the world and roll back the tide of investment protectionism showing renewed vigor – including within some G8 countries, ICC urged. Cross-border investment is crucial to spread the benefits of globalization more widely, since foreign direct investment plays an important role in transferring technology, know-how and management skills to developing countries, the statement said.

Encourage energy efficiency
ICC welcomed the focus at this year’s summit on energy efficiency, but asked G8 leaders to keep in mind that investments on the massive scale needed to stimulate innovation will require a more favorable policy and regulatory framework. Strict adherence to a number of conditions is also a prerequisite, such as upholding laws against corruption, ensuring fair competition, and guaranteeing contracts.

But lack of global consensus and stable policies is discouraging innovation and investment in future sources of clean energy, ICC said. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change provides a useful forum for international cooperation to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the longer term.

Uphold commitments to curb counterfeiting and piracy
While counterfeiting and piracy remain a topic at this year’s G8, deeds continue to fall short of words in addressing a global epidemic that leaves virtually no sector untouched, ICC said.

ICC called on the G8 to make counterfeiting and piracy a higher priority by gathering more accurate data, launching public awareness campaigns of the damage done, and improving training and cooperation of national enforcement agencies. ICC’s initiative, Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy, addresses these issues in a comprehensive anti-counterfeiting plan that fosters world business collaboration with government.

USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce in which business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and protection of the environment.  Its membership includes some 300 U.S. companies, professional service firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $3 trillion.  As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade.

Contacts:

Jonathan Huneke, VP of Communications, USCIB
+1 212 703 5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

Mary Kelly, Director of Communications, ICC
+33 1 4953 2987 or mary.kelly@iccwbo.org

ICC statement to G8 leaders

Press release: At G-8 Business Summit, USCIB Chairman Urges Governments to Avoid Investment Protectionism (April 24, 2007)

Staff Contact:   Kira Yevtukhova

Deputy Director, Marketing and Communications
Tel: 202.617.3160

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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