Global Insights

ICC Secretary General John Denton’s open letter to trade ministers ahead of MC13

  • 21 February 2024

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ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO has issued a letter to trade ministers urging them to make every possible effort to ensure that the World Trade Organization’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) delivers tangible outcomes to bolster the multilateral trading system.

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The WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) is taking place on 26-29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Ministers from across the world will attend to review the functioning of the multilateral trading system and to take action on the future work of the WTO.  

In his letter, Mr. Denton warns that the gradual erosion of the WTO and the proliferation of unilateral and protectionist trade measures are weakening economic resiliency, inhibiting job creation, and exacerbating inequality. He warns that the WTO system should not be taken for granted –  multilateral trade rules are not only a driver of economic growth and development but also an essential safety net.  

Emphasising the global business community’s steadfast support for the multilateral trading system, Mr. Denton stresses the need to see outcomes at MC13 in three key areas: