Political leaders must grasp final chance for Doha deal

          • Paris, 01 March 2007

          Today’s edition of the Financial Times newspaper includes a Letter to the Editor from ICC strongly supporting the goal of seizing a last opportunity to conclude the Doha Round.

          The letter has been signed by ICC’s Chairmanship, plus chairmen or CEOs of 82 companies.

          A letter from the European Round Table (ERT) of Industrialists on the same subject has been published next to the ICC letter.

          ERT and ICC have coordinated this initiative to demonstrate to policymakers that the CEOs of major global companies strongly support the goal of successfully concluding the Doha Round.


          We the undersigned are chairmen/chief executive officers of some of the world’s leading corporations. We have supported the Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations since they were launched and were profoundly concerned when they were suspended last July.

          We therefore warmly welcome the agreement among trade ministers in late February to re-start the negotiations following initiatives at the highest political level. A final and very narrow window of opportunity appears to have opened up to forge agreement in the coming weeks on an historic, global package of trade-enhancing measures.

          At the initiative of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), we are writing to urge member governments of the World Trade Organization to seize this opportunity as a policy objective of the highest priority.

          We believe that a successful conclusion of the Doha round is a vital interest for world business and we encourage fellow business leaders to work closely with their governments to achieve that end as a matter of great urgency. Although national differences over a deal on agriculture have taken centre stage, the Doha round is -- and should be -- about much more than that one sector. Considerable progress has been made in all areas of the negotiations over the past five years and there is much already on the table which would make it easier to do business across frontiers.

          If the Doha round fails, the gains already on the table will be lost. The considerable advances already made towards achieving the most trade-enhancing global agreement ever will be wasted. And the multilateral trading system that has played such a critical role in raising world living standards will be seriously damaged -- paving the way for already resurgent protectionist forces and an ever more complicated and costly patchwork of bilateral and regional trade arrangements, which are not alternatives to the multilateral system.

          What is at stake in the weeks ahead is of crucial importance for creating business opportunities, strengthening the world economy, and raising global living standards.

          Political leaders at the very highest level must continue to engage themselves to ensure that WTO governments collectively, at this very late hour, find the political will to realize the great promise of Doha. They -- and we -- have a final chance. We must all invest the time and effort to get a deal done.


          Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman of the Board, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, Sweden; and Chairman, ICC

          Victor Fung, Chairman, Li & Fung Group of Companies, Hong Kong, China; and Vice-Chairman, ICC

          Jean-René Fourtou, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Vivendi Universal, France; and Honorary Chairman, ICC

          Joseph Ackermann, CEO, Deutsche Bank AG, Germany

          Paul Adams, Chief Executive, British American Tobacco, UK

          Steven A. Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft Corporation, USA

          Jim Balsillie, Chairman and co-CEO, Research In Motion Limited, Canada

          Laurent Beaudoin, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Bombardier Inc., Canada

          Peter Brabeck-Lethmathe, Chairman and CEO, Nestlé SA, Switzerland

          Nasir Ali Shah Bukhari, Chairman, KASB Bank Limited, Pakistan

          Baron Paul Buysse, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Bekaert, Belgium

          Guillermo Cadena Acevedo, CEO, Grupo Ultraquimia, Mexico

          Patrick Cescau, Group Chief Executive, Unilever, Netherlands/UK

          Masud A. Daher, Chairman, Millezum Consult (Pvt.) Ltd., Pakistan

          Dominic D'Alessandro, President and CEO, Manulife Financial Corporation, Canada

          Samuel A. DiPiazza, Jr., CEO, PricewaterhouseCoopers, USA

          V. L. Dutt, Chairman & Managing Director, The KCP Ltd, India

          Jorma Eloranta, President and CEO, Metso Corporation, Finland

          Michael L. Eskew, Chairman and CEO, United Parcel Service, USA

          Richard B. Evans, President and CEO, Alcan Inc., Canada

          Michael Frenzel, CEO, TUI AG, Germany

          Manfred Gentz, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Zurich Financial Services, Switzerland

          Claudio X. González, CEO, Kimberly-Clark de México, Mexico

          Jürgen Hambrecht, Chairman of the Board of Directors, BASF AG, Germany

          Jukka Härmälä, CEO, Stora Enso, Finlan

          Antti Herlin, Chairman of the Board, KONE Corporation, Finland

          Charles O. Holliday Jr., Chairman and CEO, DuPont, USA

          Kunio Ishihara, Member of the Board, President, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. Ltd., Japan

          Tissa Jayaweera, Chairman, Itmin Internet Services Limited, Sri Lanka

          Leif Johansson, President and CEO, Volvo Group, Sweden

          Ole Johansson, President and CEO, Wärtsilä Corporation, Finland

          Christian Jourquin, CEO, Solvay, Belgium

          Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, President and CEO, Nokia Corporation, Finland

          R. V. Kanoria, Chairman & Managing Director, Kanoria Chemicals & Industries Ltd, India

          Adnan Kassar, Chairman, Fransabank S.A.L, Lebanon

          Tsunehisa Katsumata, President, The Tokyo Electric Power Company Incorporated, Japan

          Young-Tae Kim, Chairman, Daesung Group of Companies, Korea

          Jeffrey B. Kindler, Chairman and CEO, Pfizer Inc., USA

          Klaus Kleinfeld, President and CEO, Siemens AG, Germany

          Mustafa V. Koç, Chairman, Koç Holding, Turkey

          Vratislav Kulhanek, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Skoda Auto a.s., Czech, Republic

          Alan G. Lafley, Chairman, President and CEO, The Procter & Gamble Company, USA

          Pil-Seung Lee, President, Poong Lim Industrial Co., Ltd., Korea

          Yong-Koo Lee, CEO, Daelim Industrial Co., Ltd., Korea

          Yoon-Woo Lee, Vice Chairman & CEO, Samsung Electronics, Korea

          Woon-Hyung Lee, Chairman, Seah Steel Co., Ltd., Korea

          Ulrich Lehner, Chairman Board of Management, Henkel KGaA, Germany

          Thomas Leysen, CEO, Umicore, Belgium

          The Hon. David K. P. Li, Chairman and Chief Executive, The Bank of East Asia Ltd., Hong Kong, China

          Andrew N. Liveris; CEO, The Dow Chemical Company, USA

          John A. Luke, Chairman of the Board and CEO, MeadWestvaco Corporation, USA

          Harold McGraw III, Chairman, President and CEO, The McGraw-Hill Companies, USA

          Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO, Suez, France

          Yogendra K. Modi, Chairman, YKM Holdings, India

          Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman, Anglo American, UK

          A. C. Muthiah, Chairman, SPIC Ltd, India

          Mehmet Narin, Chairman, United Asian Holdings Ltd., Hong Kong, China

          William G. Parrett, CEO, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, USA

          Lars Pettersson, President and CEO, Sandvik, Sweden

          S. K. Poddar, Chairman, Poddar Heritage Investments Ltd, India

          Markku Pohjola, Deputy Group CEO and Country CEO, Nordea, Finland

          Antoni Pont Amenós, Chairman, Borges SA, Spain

          Tariq M. Rangoonwala, Chairman, Rangoonwala Group of Companies, Pakistan

          Soon-Jong Rhee, Vice Chairman & CEO, Hanwha Corporation, Korea

          Fadi Saab, Chairman, Trans Mediterranean Airways, Lebanon

          Frédéric Sanchez, Chairman of the Executive Board, Compagnie de Fives-Lille, France

          M. K. Sanghi, Chairman & Managing Director, Sanghi Organisation, India

          Mikio Sasaki, Chairman of the Board, Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan

          Bark-Jae Shin, Chairman & CEO, Philips Semiconductors Korea, Korea

          Paul Skinner, Chairman, Rio Tinto, UK

          Hans Stråberg, President and CEO, Electrolux, Sweden

          Min-Sok Suh, Chairman & CEO, Dong-Il Corporation, Korea

          Sir John Sunderland, Chairman, Cadbury Schweppes, UK

          Carl-Henric Svanberg, President and CEO, Ericsson, Sweden

          Banny P. L. Tam, Chairman, Akei Holdings Co Ltd., Hong Kong, China

          Gunter Thielen Chairman & CEO, Bertelsmann AG, Germany

          Joseph Torbey, Chairman, Credit Libanais S.A.L, Lebanon

          Sadao Umeda, Chairman and Representative Director, Kajima Corporation, Japan

          Jeroen van der Veer, Chief Executive, Royal Dutch Shell, Netherlands/UK

          Nicolas A. Vernicos, President, Vernicos Maritime Group, Greece

          Ben Verwaayen, Chief Executive, BT Group, UK

          Richard Waugh, President and CEO, Scotiabank, Canada

          Gérard Worms, Vice Chairman, Rothschild Europe, France

          Patrick Po Kong Wu, Vice Chairman & Executive Director, Wing Lung Bank Ltd., Hong Kong, China

          Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management, DaimlerChrysler AG, Germany

          Click here to read text of ERT letter

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