Australia’s trade plan backed by global business groups
Australia’s plan for new pathways to global trade has been backed by business groups from G20 countries.
Trade ministers from the G20 countries meeting in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, called for splitting the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations into its constituent groups and bringing conclusions separately on a priority basis.
Trade facilitation is estimated to provide 44 percent of the total gains from the Doha Round, with two-thirds of this increasing to developing countries.
Dr Craig Emerson, Australian Minister for Trade and Competitiveness welcomed the presentation to the G20 ministerial meeting of the business groups as an endorsement of Australia’s plan. “This key business recommendation is an endorsement of the new pathways approach advocated by Prime Minister Gillard at the G20 meeting held in Cannes late last year,” Emerson said.
“The B20 also endorsed the priority being given to the World Trade Organization negotiations on trade facilitation and the plurilateral negotiations on liberalising trade in services, led by Australia,” Emerson added.
Emerson said that the only source of sustainable economic recovery for countries with recession was further trade reform.
“Without further market-opening measures the world’s economies will continue to argue about the distribution of a fixed or declining number of jobs. Far better to be creating more jobs all round by opening up markets,” Emerson said.
For the first time, key emerging countries had not insisted on cross-trading across negotiating groups, making the achievement of breakthroughs on trade facilitation a realistic possibility, added Emerson.
“We should be looking to streamline customs and landing procedures in developing countries, reducing the cost of doing business and encouraging more trade,” Emerson said.