New Evian Group project publication “Peace and Prosperity through World Trade”

  • 5 October 2010

The Foundation is pleased to announce the publication this month of the Evian Group book “Peace and Prosperity through World Trade”. This collection of expert essays was commissioned by the International Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation (ICCRF) and is being published by Cambridge University Press.

Featuring contributions from over 50 of the world’s leading thinkers in global trade and related issues, the book was compiled under the direction of Dr Victor K. Fung, Honorary Chairman of ICC, and edited by Fabrice and Jean-Pierre Lehmann, with a foreword by Peter Sutherland, founding Director General of the WTO. The authors make a compelling case that a robust, fair, rules-based multilateral global trade system not only helps economies achieve growth, but also reduces international conflict and tension.

The book is divided into five sections: “Global Systemic Transformation”; “Governance of Global Trade”; “Poverty and Global Inequities”; “Long View on Interlocking Crises” and “Global Business Responsibilities”.

Among the many topics covered in the book’s 54 articles is the historical role trade has played in fostering peace and prosperity—particularly in East Asia, where the resulting economic growth has helped reduce poverty as well as armed conflict over the past 30 years, during which East Asia was transformed from a battlefield to a market place.

The official launching of the publication took place at a media event in Hong Kong on 14 October 2010.

Jean-Pierre Lehmann said, “The rise of China especially and the Global South generally have contributed to rapidly shifting dynamics in world trade and global economic power. As governments come to grips with these new players and realities, they will need to adapt. It will be particularly important to incorporate the ‘global south’ into any new framework to ensure the kind of stabilizing and growth-inducing effect that was seen in Europe and the North Atlantic in the latter part of the 20th century”.

Dr. Fung said, “The continuing paralysis of the Doha Round of multilateral trade talks is limiting what we as a global community can do to address many of the issues we face today. However, history illustrates the power of world trade to affect positively the growth and stability of nations. If we are to succeed, we must work to reform the WTO on an institutional level, exercise political will and leadership to achieve a multilateral trading framework that is fair and equal for all, and restore trust in the system”.

The book’s title, “Peace and Prosperity through World Trade: Achieving the 2019 Vision”, makes reference to the ICC’s founding vision when it was established in 1919, in the wake of World War I – “world peace through world trade”. It was produced in time for the 10-year run-up to the ICC’s 100th anniversary in 2019, in anticipation of the realisation of these ideals.

New research project to develop an “Open Markets” Index

A new project supported by the Foundation aims at developing an Open Markets Index, ranking countries by order of openness to international trade and investment. The new Index is being developed by economist Dr. Michael Finger, in consultation with ICC and experts from various multilateral organizations.

The intention is to update and publish the Open Markets Index periodically, to recognize the efforts of countries to keep their trade and investment markets open despite the pressures of protectionism.

The on-going crisis in the world economy has seen barriers to trade and investment rising again. Most of these barriers can be attributed to government policies and comprise measures at and behind the border. These barriers can be measured directly or indirectly. The methodology being developed for the index will be based on a score of economic indicators that can be used to compare “openness” across many countries.

The final version of the methodology and the first prototype of the “Open Markets Index” will be ready in early 2011.