ICC Secretary General John Danilovich joined fellow speakers Simon Baptist, Chief Economist, Economist Intelligence Unit, Dani Rodrik, Princeton Professor of International Economics and Beatriz Leycegui, former Under Secretary of Foreign Trade, Mexico.
Addressing CEOs and other senior representatives of the global shipping industry, Mr Danilovich said that business leaders should do more to communicate the benefits of global trade. “Our message has to be that trade generates growth and growth generates jobs,” he said.
Moderated by Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times, the half-day symposium took place as part of a series of events across Denmark this week that aim to unleash the potential of the global maritime industry.
Citing global value chains as a dominant feature of today’s integrated economy, Mr Danilovich said: “Any discussions on the future of international trade must take into account the considerable contributions of upstream domestic industries to international trade, even if they have little direct international exposure.
The increasing importance of global value chains is changing the nature of world trade and has considerable implications for the policy choices and global rules that will allow governments and businesses to leverage trade and investment in the most effective way, to contribute to economic growth and job creation.”
During discussions Mr Danilovich also said that a challenge for business in today’s increasingly integrated global economy was the absence or inadequacy of global rules in many crucial areas. He urged greater business contribution to the public debate on the benefits of the World Trade Organization rules-based multilateral system. “ICC believes strongly in the primacy of a strong, rules-based multilateral trading system embodied by the World Trade Organization,” he stated.
However, referring to recent setbacks in the legal adoption of a WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, Mr Danilovich acknowledged that the time had come for the WTO to consider alternative negotiating approaches including plurilateral approaches with the ultimate aim of achieving multilateral results. “Such approaches may be better suited to an organization of now 160 members, operating in a 21st century economy,”
Mr Danilovich highlighted the role ICC had played since the first ministerial conference of the WTO in 1996, to get trade on the WTO agenda and then to negotiate a multilateral agreement on trade facilitation. He concluded by reiterating ICC’s commitment to ensuring that global business plays an active and constructive role in working with WTO members to help strengthen WTO rules and to adapt them to the current needs of global trade.
Organized by ICC Denmark, Maersk, Danish Ship Finance, Danish Maritime and the Danish Shipowners’ Association, the symposium took place as a precursor to the Danish Maritime Forum, set to take place on 8-9 October. Under the theme “The Future of Global Trade”, discussions focused on unlocking growth by facilitating business and industry participation in global trade.
Read ICC Secretary General John Danilovich’s full speech at the Future of Global Trade Symposium.