In a meeting this week with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Secretary General John Danilovich and Executive Director of ICC India Ashok Ummat, Indian Secretary of Commerce Rajeev Kher said that the Indian government was aware of the critical importance of the multilateral trading framework and on-going negotiations on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
Mr Danilovich stressed that India’s ratification of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement was crucial to advancing multilateral trade negotiations. Mr Danilovich said that if fully ratified, the agreement, along with other elements of the Bali package agreed to at the 9th WTO ministerial meeting in December 2013, has a potential to inject US$1 trillion into the global economy and create 21 million jobs, including 18 million in the developing world.
During the private meeting, Mr Danilovich also gave an overview of ICC’s role and services to promote international trade and investment. Conveying appreciation of the initiatives being undertaken by the Indian government to facilitate investments in the country, he told Mr Kher that ICC’s extensive global network could be leveraged to convey India as an attractive destination for business investment.
Leading an ICC delegation that included ICC India Vice-President Sandip Somany and ICC India Past President Sushil Jiwarajka, Mr Danilovich also stressed the importance of TFA ratification during a meeting with Indian Sherpa to the G20 Suresh Prabhu.
Mr Prabhu reiterated that the Indian government did not object to the TFA but wanted the WTO to extend the peace clause until a concrete solution could be reached on food security and said that the Indian Ambassador was still talking with the WTO on this issue.
Discussing expectations for the upcoming G20 leaders Summit in November, Mr Prabhu said that G20 priorities should include SMEs, employment, global supply chain and infrastructure noting that global supply chains and investment in infrastructure play a pivotal role in creating jobs and increasing the GDP growth of G20 countries.
Mr Danilovich’s meetings in India followed a visit to Bangladesh where the ICC leader joined the 20th anniversary celebrations of ICC Bangladesh.
The conference was opened by President Abdul Hamid and brought together 500 participants including ministers, business leaders, economists and academics.