Business leaders call for new global trade deal

          • Bali, 03 December 2013

          Business leaders from over 30 countries have today issued a statement calling on governments to conclude a new multilateral deal to cut customs bureaucracy at this week’s World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Bali.

          Business leaders call for new global trade deal at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali

          In an open letter to the Financial Times, the CEOs and Chairmen of more than 80 international companies – headed by ICC’s Chairman, Harold McGraw – emphasized that a trade facilitation deal could boost global GDP by upwards of 3%. Over the past three weeks, officials from around the world have been locked in round-the-clock negotiations to hammer out a final deal which could be finalized at this week’s ministerial.

          The letter, which was released at the initiative of ICC, calls on trade ministers in Bali “to get the deal done” and secure the first multilateral trade agreement in almost two decades. The business leaders wrote: “All trade ministers should consider what this would mean for businesses in their respective economies. A robust WTO deal would enable many companies to trade internationally for the first time, particularly as the Internet opens up new market opportunities for small- and medium-sized companies.”

          Following the publication of the letter, Jean-Guy Carrier, Secretary General of ICC said: “The initiative emphasizes business’ strong support for a successful outcome to this week’s ministerial. A deal to cut red-tape at borders could provide a major stimulus to the global economy – bringing benefits to businesses, consumers and governments alike. An agreement is very much within touching distance: the thing now is for us all to stay engaged to make this happen.”

          The full text of the letter and signatories are available below, as well as on the Financial Times

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          We represent over 80 international businesses. At the initiative of the International Chamber of Commerce, we are writing to emphasise the importance of a successful outcome to the World Trade Organization’s Ministerial Conference this week—and, above all, the conclusion of a multilateral agreement on trade facilitation to cut unnecessary red-tape at borders.

          The business case for a trade facilitation agreement is as clear as it is compelling. Inefficient border and customs processes place a significant brake on cross-border commerce in many countries: disrupting international supply-chains, raising costs to both businesses and consumers, and all too often discouraging companies from entering overseas markets. Recent studies suggest that improvements in border administration could lead to an increase in global GDP of upwards of 3 per cent—with an associated annual boost to global exports of around 10 per cent.

          All trade ministers should consider what this would mean for businesses in their respective economies. A robust WTO deal would enable many companies to trade internationally for the first time, particularly as the internet opens up new market opportunities for small- and medium-sized companies. Indeed, research suggests that improved border and customs measures could trigger a 60 to 80 per cent increase in cross-border SME sales in some economies.

          The international business community has consistently called for global trade facilitation reforms for over a decade. Much progress has been made in recent weeks in hammering out the details of a draft agreement under the stewardship of the WTO’s new Director-General, Roberto Azevêdo. Now is the time for governments to get this deal done.

          Harold McGraw III, Chairman, McGraw Hill Financial; Chairman, International Chamber of Commerce

          Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Group CEO, Bharti Enterprises

          Victor Fung, Chairman, Fung Group

          Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman and CEO, SEB

          Gerard Worms, Vice Chairman, Rothschild Europe

          Mohammed Samara Abubaker, CEO, Meridian Port Services

          Togbe Afede, Chairman and CEO, Strategic African Securities

          Joseph Agyepong, Chairman and CEO, Jospong Group

          Rami Al Khateeb, CEO, Elaf Medical Supplies

          Jamal Al Sarayrah, CEO, Arab Potash Company

          Yassin Saeed Al Surror, President and CEO, A'amal Group

          Matti Alahuhta, President and CEO, KONE

          Ahmad Armoush, CEO, Jordan National Shipping Lines

          Teruo Asada, Chairman, Marubeni Corporation

          Pedro Aspe, Co-Chair, Evercore Partners

          Khalid Awan, Chairman, TCS Holdings

          Babar Badat, Managing Director, Transfreight Corporation

          Alhaji Asoma Banda, CEO, Antrak Group

          Othman Bdeer, CEO, Jordan Insurance Company

          João Bento, CEO, Efacec

          Sir John Buchanan, Chairman, Smith & Nephew; Chairman, ARM Holdings

          Paul Bulcke, CEO, Nestlé

          Carlos Bulgheroni, Chairman, Bridas

          Kimball Chen, Chairman and CEO, Energy Transportation Group

          Patrick Coveney, CEO, Greencore Group

          Frederico Fleury Curado, President and CEO, Embraer

          Vasco de Mello, Chairman and CEO, Brisa Auto-estradas de Portugal

          Marijn Dekkers, CEO, Bayer CropScience

          Syed Manzur Elahi, Chairman, Apex Adelchi Footwear

          Eduardo Eurnekian, CEO, Corporación América

          Douglas Flint, Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings

          Antonio Estrany y Gendre, President, Axion Energy

          Gabriel Ghete, General Manager, Biotechnik

          Piyush Gupta, CEO, DBS Group

          Ilham Habibie, President Director, Ilthabi Rekatama

          Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, Chairman, Eskihisar Group

          Richard Holyman, Managing Director, Martin & Pleasance

          Kuok Khoon Hong, CEO, Wilmar International

          José Honório, CEO, Portucel

          Sebastián Escarrer Jaume, Board Member, Meliá Hotels International

          Joseph Jimenez, CEO, Novartis

          Sushil Jiwarajka, Chairman and Managing Director, Artheon Group

          Matti Kähkönen, President and CEO, Metso

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

          Rupert Keeley, CEO PayPAL EMEA, eBay

          Young Tae Kim, Chairman, Daesung

          Jüri Külvik, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Lemeks AS

          Ronnie Leten, President and CEO, Atlas Copco

          Andrew Liveris, President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Dow Chemical Company

          Michel Lies, CEO, Swiss Re

          Andrew McKenzie, CEO, BHP Billiton

          Ivan Menezes, CEO, Diageo

          Yogendra Modi, Chairman and CEO, Great Eastern Energy

          Raghu Mody, Chairman, Rasoi Group

          Peder Holk Nielsen, CEO, Novozymes

          Masami Iijima, President & CEO, Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

          Cherie Nursalim, Executive Director, GITI Group

          Yongmaan Park, Chairman and CEO, Doosan Group

          Kasemsit Pathomsak, President & CEO, Merchant Partners Securities

          Sir John Peace, Chairman, Standard Chartered Bank

          Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO, UPM

          Oleg Platonov, CEO, Plaske

          Saroj Poddar, Chairman, Poddar Heritage Enterprises

          A.S.M. Quasem, Chairman and CEO, Newage Garments

          Latifur Rahman, Chairman and Managing Director, Transcom

          Mahbubur Rahman, Chairman and CEO, ETBL Holdings

          Rokia Afzal Rahman, Chairman, Arlinks

          Mohammed Rajpar, Managing Director, General Shipping Agencies

          Tariq Rangoonwala, CEO, BOML

          Björn Rosengren, President and CEO, Wärtsilä

          Mikio Sasaki, Senior Advisor to the Board, Mitsubishi Corporation

          Teo Siong Seng, Managing Director, Pacific International Lines

          Martin Senn, CEO, Zurich Financial

          Aasim Siddiqui, Managing Director, Marine Group

          Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman, Nokia

          António Simões, CEO, Sovena Group

          Harsh Pati Singhania, Director, J.K. Organisation

          Frederick W. Smith, Founder, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx

          Jim Hagemann Snabe, Co-CEO, SAP

          Carl-Henric Svanberg, Chairman, BP

          Raigo Tammo, Chairman of the Board, Estanc AS

          Chatrapee Tantixalerm, CEO, Krungsri Asset Management

          Ivica Todoric, CEO, Agrokor

          Karien Van Gennip, General Manager, Private Banking & Investments, ING, The Netherlands

          Sunny Verghese, CEO, Olam International

          Hans Vestberg, President and CEO, Ericsson

          Peter Voser, CEO, Royal Dutch Shell

          Robert Yap, Chairman and CEO, YCH Group

          Valeriy Zarembo, CEO, VATEK

          Additional supporters include:

          Peter Mihok, Chairman, ICC World Chambers Federation

          Ali Mohamad Alghanim, Chairman, Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry

          Hamad Almarzouq, Chairman, Kuwait Banking Association

          Bader Alsubaie, Chairman, Union of Investment Companies

          Ace Ankomah, Managing Partner, Bentsi Enchill, Letsa & Ankoma

          Gregory Bird, Deputy Secretary General, Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics

          Luis de la Calle, Managing Director, De la Calle, Madrazo, Mancera

          John Denton, CEO and Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth

          Manfred Gentz, Chairman, ICC Germany

          Yaroslav Romanchuk, Managing Partner, EUCON International Legal Company

          Augustine Samander, CEO, AEI - Jordan, Eastern - Jordan

          Zhang Yanling, Vice Chair, CCOIC/ICC CHINA; Former Vice President of the Bank of China

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