Banking & finance

Political leaders must grasp final chance for Doha deal

  • 1 March 2007

Today’s edition of the Financial Times newspaper includes a Letter to the Editor from ICC strongly supporting the goal of seizing a last opportunity to conclude the Doha Round.

The letter has been signed by ICC’s Chairmanship, plus chairmen or CEOs of 82 companies.

A letter from the European Round Table (ERT) of Industrialists on the same subject has been published next to the ICC letter.

ERT and ICC have coordinated this initiative to demonstrate to policymakers that the CEOs of major global companies strongly support the goal of successfully concluding the Doha Round.


We the undersigned are chairmen/chief executive officers of some of the world’s leading corporations. We have supported the Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations since they were launched and were profoundly concerned when they were suspended last July.

We therefore warmly welcome the agreement among trade ministers in late February to re-start the negotiations following initiatives at the highest political level. A final and very narrow window of opportunity appears to have opened up to forge agreement in the coming weeks on an historic, global package of trade-enhancing measures.

At the initiative of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), we are writing to urge member governments of the World Trade Organization to seize this opportunity as a policy objective of the highest priority.

We believe that a successful conclusion of the Doha round is a vital interest for world business and we encourage fellow business leaders to work closely with their governments to achieve that end as a matter of great urgency. Although national differences over a deal on agriculture have taken centre stage, the Doha round is — and should be — about much more than that one sector. Considerable progress has been made in all areas of the negotiations over the past five years and there is much already on the table which would make it easier to do business across frontiers.

If the Doha round fails, the gains already on the table will be lost. The considerable advances already made towards achieving the most trade-enhancing global agreement ever will be wasted. And the multilateral trading system that has played such a critical role in raising world living standards will be seriously damaged — paving the way for already resurgent protectionist forces and an ever more complicated and costly patchwork of bilateral and regional trade arrangements, which are not alternatives to the multilateral system.

What is at stake in the weeks ahead is of crucial importance for creating business opportunities, strengthening the world economy, and raising global living standards.

Political leaders at the very highest level must continue to engage themselves to ensure that WTO governments collectively, at this very late hour, find the political will to realize the great promise of Doha. They — and we — have a final chance.  We must all invest the time and effort to get a deal done.


Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman of the Board, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, Sweden; and Chairman, ICC

Victor Fung, Chairman, Li & Fung Group of Companies, Hong Kong, China; and Vice-Chairman, ICC

Jean-René Fourtou, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Vivendi Universal, France; and Honorary Chairman, ICC

Joseph Ackermann, CEO, Deutsche Bank AG, Germany

Paul Adams, Chief Executive, British American Tobacco, UK

Steven A. Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft Corporation, USA

Jim Balsillie, Chairman and co-CEO, Research In Motion Limited, Canada

Laurent Beaudoin, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Bombardier Inc., Canada

Peter Brabeck-Lethmathe, Chairman and CEO, Nestlé SA, Switzerland

Nasir Ali Shah Bukhari, Chairman, KASB Bank Limited, Pakistan

Baron Paul Buysse, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Bekaert, Belgium

Guillermo Cadena Acevedo, CEO, Grupo Ultraquimia, Mexico

Patrick Cescau, Group Chief Executive, Unilever, Netherlands/UK

Masud A. Daher, Chairman, Millezum Consult (Pvt.) Ltd., Pakistan

Dominic D’Alessandro, President and CEO, Manulife Financial Corporation, Canada

Samuel A. DiPiazza, Jr., CEO, PricewaterhouseCoopers, USA

V. L. Dutt, Chairman & Managing Director, The KCP Ltd, India

Jorma Eloranta, President and CEO, Metso Corporation, Finland

Michael L. Eskew, Chairman and CEO, United Parcel Service, USA

Richard B. Evans, President and CEO, Alcan Inc., Canada

Michael Frenzel, CEO, TUI AG, Germany

Manfred Gentz, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Zurich Financial Services, Switzerland

Claudio X. González, CEO, Kimberly-Clark de México, Mexico

Jürgen Hambrecht, Chairman of the Board of Directors, BASF AG, Germany

Jukka Härmälä, CEO, Stora Enso, Finlan

Antti Herlin, Chairman of the Board, KONE Corporation, Finland

Charles O. Holliday Jr., Chairman and CEO, DuPont, USA

Kunio Ishihara, Member of the Board, President, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. Ltd., Japan

Tissa Jayaweera, Chairman, Itmin Internet Services Limited, Sri Lanka

Leif Johansson, President and CEO, Volvo Group, Sweden

Ole Johansson, President and CEO, Wärtsilä Corporation, Finland

Christian Jourquin, CEO, Solvay, Belgium

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, President and CEO, Nokia Corporation, Finland

R. V. Kanoria, Chairman & Managing Director, Kanoria Chemicals & Industries Ltd, India

Adnan Kassar, Chairman, Fransabank S.A.L, Lebanon

Tsunehisa Katsumata, President, The Tokyo Electric Power Company Incorporated, Japan

Young-Tae Kim, Chairman, Daesung Group of Companies, Korea

Jeffrey B. Kindler, Chairman and CEO, Pfizer Inc., USA

Klaus Kleinfeld, President and CEO, Siemens AG, Germany

Mustafa V. Koç, Chairman, Koç Holding, Turkey

Vratislav Kulhanek, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Skoda Auto a.s., Czech, Republic

Alan G. Lafley, Chairman, President and CEO, The Procter & Gamble Company, USA

Pil-Seung Lee, President, Poong Lim Industrial Co., Ltd., Korea

Yong-Koo Lee, CEO, Daelim Industrial Co., Ltd., Korea

Yoon-Woo Lee, Vice Chairman & CEO, Samsung Electronics, Korea

Woon-Hyung Lee, Chairman, Seah Steel Co., Ltd., Korea

Ulrich Lehner, Chairman Board of Management, Henkel KGaA, Germany

Thomas Leysen, CEO, Umicore, Belgium

The Hon. David K. P. Li, Chairman and Chief Executive, The Bank of East Asia Ltd., Hong Kong, China

Andrew N. Liveris; CEO, The Dow Chemical Company, USA

John A. Luke, Chairman of the Board and CEO, MeadWestvaco Corporation, USA

Harold McGraw III, Chairman, President and CEO, The McGraw-Hill Companies, USA

Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO, Suez, France

Yogendra K. Modi, Chairman, YKM Holdings, India

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman, Anglo American, UK

A. C. Muthiah, Chairman, SPIC Ltd, India

Mehmet Narin, Chairman, United Asian Holdings Ltd., Hong Kong, China

William G. Parrett, CEO, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, USA

Lars Pettersson, President and CEO, Sandvik, Sweden

S. K. Poddar, Chairman, Poddar Heritage Investments Ltd, India

Markku Pohjola, Deputy Group CEO and Country CEO, Nordea, Finland

Antoni Pont Amenós, Chairman, Borges SA, Spain

Tariq M. Rangoonwala, Chairman, Rangoonwala Group of Companies, Pakistan

Soon-Jong Rhee, Vice Chairman & CEO, Hanwha Corporation, Korea

Fadi Saab, Chairman, Trans Mediterranean Airways, Lebanon

Frédéric Sanchez, Chairman of the Executive Board, Compagnie de Fives-Lille, France

M. K. Sanghi, Chairman & Managing Director, Sanghi Organisation, India

Mikio Sasaki, Chairman of the Board, Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan

Bark-Jae Shin, Chairman & CEO, Philips Semiconductors Korea, Korea

Paul Skinner, Chairman, Rio Tinto, UK

Hans Stråberg, President and CEO, Electrolux, Sweden

Min-Sok Suh, Chairman & CEO, Dong-Il Corporation, Korea

Sir John Sunderland, Chairman, Cadbury Schweppes, UK

Carl-Henric Svanberg, President and CEO, Ericsson, Sweden

Banny P. L. Tam, Chairman, Akei Holdings Co Ltd., Hong Kong, China

Gunter Thielen Chairman & CEO, Bertelsmann AG, Germany

Joseph Torbey, Chairman, Credit Libanais S.A.L, Lebanon

Sadao Umeda, Chairman and Representative Director, Kajima Corporation, Japan

Jeroen van der Veer, Chief Executive, Royal Dutch Shell, Netherlands/UK

Nicolas A. Vernicos, President, Vernicos Maritime Group, Greece

Ben Verwaayen, Chief Executive, BT Group, UK

Richard Waugh, President and CEO, Scotiabank, Canada

Gérard Worms, Vice Chairman, Rothschild Europe, France

Patrick Po Kong Wu, Vice Chairman & Executive Director, Wing Lung Bank Ltd., Hong Kong, China

Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management, DaimlerChrysler AG, Germany