Competitive markets

New ICC business principles help traders navigate world of international deal-making

  • 30 October 2013
International Court of Arbitration

Today’s complex global marketplace brings together businesspeople from different cultures and across industries. This rich variety of multifarous business traditions and levels of experience leads to innovative and far-reaching deals, but also poses challenges for parties negotiating across geographic and cultural boundaries.

To help businesses – whether large or small, experienced or new to the international marketplace – conduct smoother negotiations and avoid costly misunderstandings and delays, ICC has developed 11 voluntary principles to facilitate commercial negotiation.  In keeping with ICC’s long history of producing practical tools to facilitate international trade, the Principles provide clear and concise guidance on common elements of commercial negotiation, based on consultations with business professionals and lawyers from companies large and small, across sectors and around the world.

Reflecting the landscape of today’s business environment, the Principles are based on the idea that the best deals are struck between negotiating partners that not only want or need to collaborate, but also respect and trust one another. Business increasingly involves sustainable partnerships and business arrangements that may need to evolve over time; the Principles provide a foundation for creating or enhancing a productive working relationship, for transactions of any size or length.

Emily O’Connor, Executive Secretary of ICC’s Commission on Commercial Law and Practice said: “Negotiating is a rich and complicated process. If done well, it can lead to enduring, profitable deals that expand the horizons for all parties involved. We heard from negotiators across the globe about their current challenges and developed the ICC Principles to Facilitate Commercial Negotiation to help businesspeople everywhere to engage in more streamlined negotiations that lead to more sustainable business deals.”

The voluntary Principles may be used differently depending on context: parties may choose to discuss them with their negotiating counterparties, or use them solely as references or benchmarks within their own organizations. Where the ICC Principles are used in the context of negotiating and drafting an agreement, parties may wish to consult the range of relevant ICC tools – including ICC’s range of model contracts; the Incoterms® rules; ICC rules on documentary credits (UCP) and guarantees (URDG); and the ICC Rules on Arbitration and ADR – which reflect international trade practice and are accepted worldwide.

Download the ICC Principles to Facilitate Commercial Negotiation