ICC Document & publication

Business priorities for the WTO – Statement issued by ICC and B20 Argentina at the 2018 WTO Public Forum

The list below, prepared under the responsibility of the ICC and B20 Argentina, stems from the recommendations made during the meeting of 7 June as well as a more detailed on-line follow-up exercise with a wider range of business representatives.

On 7 June 2018, representatives from companies and business associations from around the world met at WTO headquarters in Geneva for the second Trade Dialogues meeting, convened by the International Chamber of Commerce and the B20 Argentina. The ICC and the B20 very much welcomed the opportunity to express business views on the work of the WTO.

Intense discussions on e-commerce, investment facilitation, sustainable development and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) led to the following set of recommendations to the WTO membership. The work on 7 June built on the progress made in these areas since the first Trade Dialogues meeting at WTO in May 2016.

Business is fully aware that global trade governance is being challenged and surrounded by uncertainty. It sent a strong and united message about the importance of the WTO and the need to strengthen and improve the system. Business hopes that these recommendations will contribute and reinforce global trade and investment in support of inclusive growth and development.

The list below, prepared under the responsibility of the ICC and B20 Argentina, stems from the recommendations made during the meeting of 7 June as well as a more detailed on-line follow-up exercise with a wider range of business representatives.

Importance of the trading system

  1. Business representatives reaffirm their strong support for the WTO and stress that the stability, predictability and transparency provided by the multilateral trading system are crucial for supporting growth, development, and job creation.
  2. Business underlines the need for ongoing multilateral negotiations and discussions at the WTO to ensure the system remains responsive and wellequipped to deal with trade-related and other modern, global economic issues.
    Business will continue to warn against the negative impact of protectionism and the dangers of undermining WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism.
  3. The Sustainable Development Goals enjoy very broad support among the business community. Business reiterates that trade and investment are important contributors to the delivery of these goals.
  4. Business calls on WTO members and the secretariat to engage with the private sector in a more structured fashion, to improve consultation on regulatory policies, have a better understanding of priorities and identify best practices and policies that are not trade restrictive and fit for purpose.
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