- Category: Trade & Investment Policy
Paris, 28 July 2014
The International Chamber of Commerce is rallying its global network to highlight the adverse consequences of missing a first deadline to implement the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The ICC action follows reports that a small number of WTO members, including India, have proposed postponing implementation until negotiations on other aspects of the accords reached in Bali last year are complete.
In a letter sent to over 100 trade ministers worldwide, ICC Chairman Harold McGraw and Secretary General John Danilovich forewarn trade ministers that failure to meet the deadline would stall multilateral trade liberalization momentum and prevent developing and developed countries alike from reaping the benefits of the deal, which if fully implemented would lead to significant increases in growth worldwide.“It is our concern that such a course of action would not only deal a significant blow to the global economy, but would also side-track the progress that you made in Bali and undermine prospects for securing future pro-development agreements under the auspices of the WTO,” the letter said.
- Category: Corporate Responsibility & Anti-corruption
Paris, 10 July 2014
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has developed a set of Guidelines on Gifts and Hospitality. This new anti-corruption tool will provide guidance to enterprises on business ethics related to these practices.
ICC members have expressed the need for greater training material on anti-corruption compliance, namely regarding Gifts and Hospitality. The Guidelines offer recommendations on how to establish and maintain a policy on this particular issue, based on the most recent international, regional and national rules, as well as on commercial best practice.Companies can be solicited to make gifts or provide hospitality while conducting commercial activities, or may wish to do so at their own initiative. While such practices are not per se illegal, they can, in some cases, create a suspicion of impropriety or be considered as bribery.
- Category: Banking Technique & Practice
Paris, 02 July 2014
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has today released the Global Survey 2014: Rethinking Trade and Finance, its largest and most comprehensive Global Survey to date – including data from 298 banks across 127 countries. The Survey concludes that the growth rate of international trade has dropped drastically when compared to the years prior to the global financial crisis.
Survey highlights include:
Lack of available trade finance causing global trade growth to slow
Global trade growth was a shade above 3% during 2013, although picked up to an annualized growth rate of 4% during the first quarter of 2014 and is anticipated to accelerate beyond 5% through 2016.
“We are cautiously optimistic, with a realization that this optimism is framed within a fragile international trade environment,” said Vincent O’Brien, Member of the ICC Banking Commission Executive Committee. “The fragility is magnified by unpredictable political developments on the fringes of Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia and other part of the emerging world.”
Further encouragement came from the survey with 68% of respondents reporting positively that the availability of trade finance increased by value compared to the previous year. However, in terms of the “trade finance gaps”, 41% of respondents reported that they perceived a shortfall of trade finance globally. According to Mr O’Brien: “This gap remains a major challenge, especially for SMEs as without access to trade finance, now widely acknowledged as an engine of growth, SMEs will not be able to contribute substantially towards economic recovery and development.”