“There is a way forward,” ICC Secretary General tells BBC Radio regarding TFA collapse

  • 4 August 2014

In an interview with BBC World Service Radio last Friday, ICC Secretary General John Danilovich commented on the failure to implement the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

Mr Danilovich commented on the failure to implement WTO’s TFA by the 31 July deadline due to a standoff over the negotiation of a separate agreement on national food security programmes.

When asked about India’s refusal to sign off on the agreement, Mr Danilovich told the BBC: “No one is turning a blind eye to food security. We realize the domestic importance this has in India, and in other developing countries.”

“This was very strongly addressed in the Bali Accord in December and, in recent weeks, by the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Roberto Azevedo, who very clearly established a working framework for addressing food security.”

The TFA constitutes a package of reforms that would significantly reduce barriers to international trade. The full implementation of the agreement could inject $1 trillion into the global economy and create 21 million jobs, including 18 million in the developing world.

Mr Danilovich stated that “there is a way forward” to save the deal and that WTO members need to get back to the negotiating table. He said: “In the coming weeks, Director-General Azevedo and other countries will need to come forward with another permutation of a programme that would satisfy India.”

“The International Chamber of Commerce supports the food security initiative, as does the Indian business community, and it is a matter of working towards that common objective while realizing that there are many parts to the puzzle,” he added.

The interview led the BBC’s flagship World Business Report programme, which covers the latest international business and finance news and reaches over 30 million listeners around the world.

As the world’s business organization, with a network of 6 million enterprises in 130 countries, ICC plays a leading role in the global trade agenda by providing business expertise and working closely with governments.

Click here to listen to the interview.