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Global Business Coalition Urges G20 to Assume Responsibility and Reshape the Global Trading System

Ai Group, together with partner organisations in the Global Business Coalition, has today released a statement calling on the G20 to assume responsibility and reshape the global trading system. The call comes ahead of a meeting in Buenos Aires of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.

  • Global businesses are united in calling on the G20 to revitalise their leadership role in the multilateral trading system
  • The G20 need to renew their commitment to keep markets open and to refrain from raising new protectionist barriers
  • Vibrant trade and investment among economic partners is essential to ensure inclusive and prosperous societies
  • 1 in 5 jobs in the Australian economy rely on international trade activity.

In joining the appeal to the G20, Innes Willox, Chief Executive of Ai Group, said: "While our members may compete in the global marketplace, they are united in wanting a fair and level playing field where rules are respected and there is an umpire in which we all have confidence. Trade boosts growth and stability in our region and provides a pathway out of poverty for many of our neighbours," Mr Willox said.

On July 20-21, 2018, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors will meet in Buenos Aires. The need for the G20 to address the escalating trade conflicts is growing: More than 700 trade-restrictive measures have been introduced in G20 countries since October 2008, 39 alone from October 2017 to May 2018. As stated in the World Bank's Global Economic Prospects Report, an escalation of tariffs up to legally-allowed bound rates could translate into a decline in global trade flows amounting to 9 percent, similar to the drop seen during the global financial crisis in 2008-09. And even the threat of substantial shifts in trade policies in major economies could have negative consequences for the global economy, according to the World Bank.

While this data is alarming, it is encouraging that global business associations are united in their plea to the G20 to reshape the global trading system. The Global Business Coalition urges the G20 to renew their commitment to keep markets open and to refrain from raising new protectionist barriers.

"We call upon the G20 leaders to revitalise their leadership role in the multilateral trading system," states Dieter Kempf, President of the Global Business Coalition (GBC). The G20 need to address unfair competition and set up and support an agenda for modern trade and investment rules as well as new market access.

Furthermore, the functioning of the WTO and the compliance with multilateral rules need to be enhanced. According to the Global Business Coalition, the G20 leaders need to assume responsibility and provide the necessary foundation for multilateral cooperation.

Read the full Global Business Coalition statement here

Leading business federations from 14 of today's major economies belong to the GBC. It operates as a worldwide platform of exchange between national business communities and represents more than 6.7 million small, medium-sized and large enterprises. The members of the GBC are: Unión Industrial Argentina, the Australian Industry Group, the National Confederation of Industry Brazil, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, BusinessEurope, French Business Federation, the Federation of German Industries, the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Confederation of Italian Industry, the Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain, the Federation of Korean Industries, the Turkish Industry and Business Association, the Confederation of British Industry and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Dieter Kempf, President of the BDI, has been holding the GBC Presidency since February 2018.

Media enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347