Trade & investment

The risks of non-Doha

  • 11 November 2016
ICC policy statement old

The Doha Round negotiations need to be brought to an expeditious conclusion

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the world business organization, is very disappointed by the lack of progress registered at the Doha Round stocktaking exercise which concluded at the end of March, and, moreover, the slow pace of the negotiations since then.

World business feels very strongly that if the Doha Round is to be put on a sure path to achieving an ambitious and balanced result over the coming months, the negotiations must progress more quickly overall.

Political will is lacking

ICC can only note that repeated pronouncements by heads of state and government in international forums, in particular the G8 and the G20, in favour of concluding the Doha Round seem not to have succeeded in injecting much needed political will into the negotiations. What is particularly worrying is the degree to which such pronouncements seem disconnected from what is happening at the negotiating table in Geneva. In this respect, ICC very much regrets that the June Toronto G20
declaration did not mention a precise deadline for the conclusion of the Doha Round.

ICC is of the view that the Doha Round negotiations have reached a point where the many hard-won trade- and wealth-creating outcomes already on the table might be lost unless WTO members redouble their efforts to conclude the Round as soon as possible to achieve an ambitious and balanced result.

The potential benefits of a successful Doha Round are well documented and have been delineated in previous ICC statements. It should be noted, however, that failure to reach agreement on such a deal may carry risks for the international economy. These risks may include:

  1. A weakening of the multilateral trading system Improving global trade rules and achieving greater trade liberalization
  2. A foregone opportunity to improve WTO rules and liberalize world trade
  3. A potential rise in protectionism and economic nationalism


In light of these risks, ICC makes the following recommendations to WTO member governments, and G20 countries in particular: