The ICC Europe Region Consultative Group converged 28-29 March in the Belgian capital, where they met with a number of EU representatives to address issues of importance to international trade. Martin Granholm, ICC Regional Coordinator for the Europe Region, underlined trade financing challenges in his meeting with Mr Rehn.
While global trade flows rebounded across many regions in 2010, high pricing has meant that traders in many low-income countries still face difficulties accessing affordable financing. These were the findings of the ICC Trade and Finance Global Survey 2011, which polled representatives from 210 banks in 94 countries.
The European Commission (EC) is a key player in new global regulatory initiatives for the banking sector. Mr Granholm, who is also an ICC Executive Board member, emphasized during his meeting that companies all over the world are concerned about the impact of such regulations, including the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision document known as Basel III, on the financing of international trade.
During the Brussels meetings, ICC European national committee representatives focused their discussions on the current global economic climate. The requirements of Basel III have generated fears that a one-size-fits-all approach to regulation could threaten trade finance in markets dependent on trade.
The more than 20 representatives in attendance also highlighted the urgency for concluding the Doha Round of World Trade Organization trade talks, the need to find reasonable global framework for climate change action, as well euro-zone challenges.
They discussed these trade and climate policy issues with key EU representatives including Jos Delbeke, Director-General of the EC Directorate-General for Climate Action, and Ditte Juul-Jörgensen, Unit Head for the EC Directorate-General for Trade.
BusinessEurope Director General Philippe de Buck discussed key issues in the global economy from a European business perspective with the ICC representatives. The meetings were in particular centred on businesses and the G20, as well as on the need to keep markets open, to support innovation and research, and to promote job creation.
The ICC Europe Region Consultative Group meeting was the third of its kind and was hosted by ICC Belgium, one of the oldest ICC national committees.. The first such meeting was held in 2008 in Rotterdam and the following was held in 2009 in Vienna.
Participants included ICC representatives from Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and United Kingdom, as well as from the international secretariat in Paris.