ICC trade policy experts meet WTO Ambassadors in Geneva

  • 11 October 2011
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The ICC Commission on Trade and Investment Policy, holding its biannual meeting in Geneva this week, heard from selected chairmen of the Doha Round negotiating groups to discuss the latest status of the negotiations, notably in the fields of rules, services and trade facilitation.

While these issues are of key concern to business, they tend to be overshadowed by the negotiations on agriculture and industrial products.

“It is crucial for business representatives to engage in person with Geneva-based senior officials, through organizations such as ICC, to dispel the notion that business has lost interest in the Doha Round,” said R.V. Kanoria, Chair of the ICC Commission on Trade and Investment Policy and Chairman and Managing Director of Kanoria Chemicals & Industries, India.

The commission, ICC’s main working body on multilateral trade and investment policy issues, engaged in a candid exchange of views with ambassadors to the World Trade Organization (WTO) from Brazil, India and South Africa on the prospects for completing the Doha Round in 2010. The G20 Summit held in Pittsburgh last week set the end of next year as the deadline for successfully completing the talks.

The commission also heard from the Director of the Investment and Enterprise Division of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development about the downturn in foreign direct investment flows and prospects brought about by the global economic crisis, as well as the impact of the crisis on policy developments concerning foreign direct investment.

ICC took advantage of the WTO Public Forum 2009 to organize a panel session on 29 September entitled “Why global trade matters: World business perspectives on the role of the multilateral trading system and the Doha Round in the context of the current economic crisis.”  The session offered ICC the possibility to present business perspectives on the Round to a diverse audience.

“This year’s forum provided a particularly timely opportunity for ICC to reiterate the importance world business attached to the successful conclusion of the Doha Round, especially in the current economic downturn,” said Jukka Seppälä, Vice-Chair of the ICC Commission on Trade and Investment Policy and Vice President, Stakeholder Relations and Trade Policy, Metso Corporation, Finland. Mr Seppälä was one of the panellists in the ICC session.