Business leaders urge governments to reject protectionism

  • 8 July 2011

ICC Chairman Victor K. Fung and other international business leaders gathered in the Chinese capital have released a statement urging governments to reject trade and investment protectionism and to promote greater global cooperation especially among political leaders of the major economies.

The document was jointly signed by the International Chamber of Commerce, the European Union Chamber of Commerce, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Korean Chamber of Commerce, following a three-day meeting organized by the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges.

The statement exhorted government leaders to revitalize and restore confidence in the world economy by urgently concluding the Doha Round of trade negotiations and ensuring that measures taken in response to the economic crisis are consistent with the principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

In a speech to the business and government leaders, Mr Fung praised the pledge by G20 governments at their London summit in April not to raise trade barriers before the end of 2010. He also commended efforts by the WTO to monitor compliance with trade regulations.

“With the world as economically integrated as it has become in recent decades, any lurch into economic nationalism would dislocate commercial activity even further and risk turning the global crisis into a depression,” he said.

The China Centre for International Economic Exchanges was set up by the Chinese government in March to develop strategies to steer China through the current economic crisis. The centre is headed by former Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan.