ICC Chairman calls on G20 to reject protectionism

  • 11 March 2009

ICC Chairman Victor K. Fung called on world leaders to clearly reject all protectionist pressures at the upcoming G20 summit in London.

Mr Fung, who was interviewed on the BBC World Business Report program, also said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) could help global trade by increasing financing, adding that individual countries should also expand their export credit insurance.

“To pump money into the global economy is very important, but in the process of doing this I think it is very important to make sure that we don’t allow protectionism to creep in,” Mr Fung told the BBC.

The ICC Chairman said the G20 summit in London on April 2 should reiterate its commitment, made at their November meeting in Washington, to fight against protectionism.

“It is important for the leaders to continue on that agenda and make sure that they actually complete all the things that were promised at the last G20 meeting,” Mr Fung added.

Just days after the November meeting several countries announced moves to protect segments of their national industries, ignoring their G20 promises.

ICC argues that, while protecting a particular industry in one country may save some jobs, the resulting ripple effect through numerous economic sectors and the likelihood of retaliatory measures actually result in a net loss of jobs.

In the interview Mr Fung called for the conclusion of the Doha trade negotiations, saying such a step would be a “very good confidence booster.”

“Trade is the lifeblood of the global economy,” the ICC Chairman said. “It is very important to make sure that trade is flowing.”