The World Trade Agenda business priorities are a set of recommendations that are the result of ongoing high-level consultations with global businesses. Four of these were agreed upon as a set of 'Bali Accords' at the World Trade Organization 9th Ministerial Conference in December 2013. The 'Bali Accords' mark a new era in multilateral trade negotiations and an opportunity for business, with a new drive to open markets globally under a renewed post-Bali multilateral trade and investment policy agenda.
Objectives for 2015
Given the successful adoption of a trade facilitation agreement at the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference, there is now a real opportunity to drive further progress on the global trade agenda. Global business will continue to work with governments to identify and prioritize areas where results can be achieved. In order to ensure alignement between governments' policy orientations and the post-Bali global trade agenda, the following policy proposals are being considered:
1. Expand trade in IT products and encourage the growth of e-commerce worldwide
2. Liberalize trade in services
3. Multilateralize trade liberalization under the WTO framework
4. Foster 'greener' economic activity through trade
5. Encourage moving towards a high-standard multilateral framework on investment
6. Reform the WTO Dispute Settlement system
Objectives in 2013
The following tangible objectives were identified for 2013:
1. Conclude a trade facilitation agreement
2. Implement duty-free and quota-free market access for exports from least-developed countries
3. Phase out agricultural export subsidies
4. Renounce food export restrictions
5. Expand trade in IT products and encourage growth of e-commerce worldwide.
And recommended the following to complete the Doha Development Agenda to advance "beyond Doha"
1. Liberalize trade in services
2. Mulilateralize trade liberalization under the WTO framework
3. Foster 'greener' economic activity through trade
4. Move towards a high-standard multilateral framework on investment
5. Reform the WTO Dispute Settlement System
ICC has been leading the global business community with initiatives, including the ICC World Trade Agenda and the ICC G20 Advisory Group, which encourage dialogue between business and government in a bid to establish practical policies for opening trade and investment.
ICC has been encouraged by the expressions of support it has received from the WTO and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for the World Trade Agenda initiative.
The World Trade Agenda business priorities also feed into the G20 policy process, with the aim of strengthening the trade and investment policy component of the G20 agenda.