Global Insights

ICC calls on international communities to help struggling economies   

  • 12 October 2023

Business leaders from around the world convened this week in Marrakesh for the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group (WBO) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss economic development. ICC proposed solutions to counter developmental obstacles and called on the international community to address the problem of access to trade finance.

Photo: World Bank / Grant Ellis

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO joined global leaders, policymakers and entrepreneurs on the panel “Job-Rich Growth: The Answer to Poverty”. They discussed the main challenges faced by firms to enhance job creation such as limited access to finance, regulatory barriers and poor business environments.

Underscoring the lack of job opportunities in low-income countries, he highlighted four areas for immediate action:

“As an international community, we need to force a realignment of some of these rules to ensure there’s access to trade finance because trade is the vector through which economic growth continues, [it] is the vector through which people get employment, and [it] is the vector through which communities prosper.” 

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO

Boosting growth by creating more and better jobs

Mr Denton stressed the importance of strengthening the Common Framework to ensure that countries in or at risk of being in debt distress can negotiate a prompt restructuring of their debt.

He also called on governments to enhance trade facilitation and increase access to finance, particularly for smaller companies, as vital cornerstones for economic growth.

Given that 98% of bills of lading are currently still paper, Mr Denton also highlighted the imperative of trade digitalisation to streamline burdensome processes and enable market access.

During the discussion Mr Denton drew attention to the potential of AI to be a powerful driver of effective and inclusive private sector growth. He also added that developing economies should not be left behind.

“We need good policies that enable investment in the digital infrastructure, skills and capacity building,” he said.

Watch the full panel.