ICC hails Bali agreement as welcome news for the world economy
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has hailed today’s historic agreement at the 9th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Bali as a result that will not only restore confidence in the multilateral trading system but also generate a much needed stimulus of $US1 trillion and 21 million jobs to the world economy.
Congratulating ministers and WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo for their tireless efforts to reach consensus, ICC said that the agreement reached on trade facilitation was expected to reduce cross-border transaction costs for companies by 10-15% and was significant for businesses in all sectors and of all sizes around the world.
“We are very pleased with this outcome which re-establishes the centrality of the multilateral trading system. This is good for business worldwide, especially for small- and medium-sized enterprises and developing countries,” said Victor K. Fung, former ICC Chairman and Chairman of the ICC World Trade Agenda, an initiative undertaken in partnership with the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
ICC is confident that impetus from the agreement reached in Bali will drive further negotiations at the WTO in Geneva to complete other important elements of the Doha Development Agenda.
“The door is now open to proceed with a forward-looking post-Bali trade agenda that meets the needs of today’s global economy. This new trade agenda should include talks towards a multilateral framework on investment,” said Jean-Guy Carrier, ICC Secretary General.
ICC Chairman Harold (Terry) McGraw said: “Our efforts to push governments to show the political will needed to conclude a deal here have paid off and the positive result will go a long way to restoring business confidence in the WTO as the global forum for negotiating trade rules. It also restores faith that governments have the capacity to achieve tangible results multilaterally for the benefit of all members.”