home 20 May 06:08

Russian Union of Industialists and Entrepreneurs



Business priorities for the WTO7 June 2018

On 7 June 2018, the second Trade Dialogues event took place in the WTO headquarters in Geneva, co-organized by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Argentinian B20 presidency. The meeting brought together over 60 senior business representatives from across the world for the discussion of the most pressing issues of their involvement in international trade. The participants expressed their awareness of the challenges to the global trade governance and reaffirmed their strong support for the

WTO as the center of the multilateral trading system.

The discussion during the meeting touched upon such issue areas as e-commerce, investment facilitation, sustainable development and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises’ (MSMEs) role in international trade. The most significant outcome of the second Trade Dialogues meeting was the set of recommendations, summarized by the ICC and B20 Argentina.

On e-commerce the business leaders called on the WTO members to adopt a common and inclusive approach towards a coherent regulatory framework, eliminate existing non-tariff barriers, improve market access, and extend their agreement to not impose custom duties on electronic transmissions. The participants also stressed the importance of bridging the digital divide and addressing infrastructure challenges faced by the developing economies.

On investment facilitation the business community encouraged regulatory cooperation between the WTO members in order to align regulatory practices. The participants supported the joint initiative on investment facilitation at the WTO, and expressed their readiness to contribute to the development of a multilateral framework. In general, they expect the Investment Facilitation Agreement to focus on transparency, predictability, non-discrimination, elimination of red tape, international cooperation.

Regarding the challenges to MSMEs, the business representatives took note of the increasing dialogue between governments and private sector and urged the WTO members to conduct regular monitoring of the TFA impact on MSMEs.

Finally, the business leaders addressed the issues of sustainable development, stressing the need to harmonize sustainability standards and requirements, improve their transparency and ensuring consistency with the WTO agreements. Particular attention was given to the agriculture and the goal to achieve “zero hunger” – the private sector representatives urged the governments to work towards eliminating or significantly reducing trade-distortive domestic support and agricultural export subsidies.
On a more general note, the business representatives called upon the WTO members to explore further options of structural engagement with the private sector to improve consultation on regulatory policies, and identify best practices.

Full statement (in English)

© RSPP International Cooperation department

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