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Victor K. Fung, Chairman of ICC, has called on the leaders of the G20 nations to take bold and responsible actions to restore confidence in the world economy, including bringing the Doha Round to a successful conclusion.
In a statement issued today, ICC welcomed the summit of G20 leaders in Washington at the end of this week to coordinate a response to the global financial crisis and stressed the need for increased international cooperation in trade and finance.
“In finance, as in other areas of today’s interdependent world economy, international cooperation is vital to tackle major problems which transcend national boundaries, and which governments are increasingly unable to resolve on their own,” Mr Fung said.
Completing the Doha Round should be a priority
Mr Fung said the immediate challenges were to restore public trust in the banking system, get credit flowing more normally again, and ensure that demand is adequate to minimize the impact of the financial crisis on the real economy.
In addition, he emphasized that avoiding protectionism and finalizing the Doha trade agreement would guarantee a smooth flow of trade and create a favourable climate for economic recovery.
“Lack of liquidity in the financial markets runs the risk of curtailing trade flows, choking investment and fanning protectionism,” said Mr Fung. “The availability of credit and the finalization of a rules-based multilateral trade agreement will bring much-needed positive sentiment to the global economy.”
Mr Fung said ICC was pleased by indications from Washington that completion of the long-drawn-out Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations will be on the agenda for the G20 leaders. ICC strongly supports the Doha Round and believes that the financial crisis has made it even more urgent for governments to reach a deal within a matter of months. Much progress has been made during the seven years since the Doha Round was launched. Major elements of a final package are already agreed and on the table.
“The gravity of the financial crisis and its spilling over into the real economy demand that governments, at long last, find the political will and overcome the outstanding obstacles to a final agreement of the Doha Round,” the ICC Chairman said.
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