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  • Co-Chair of the Business 20 Trade Taskforce Alexey Mordashov

Business 20 presented to the G20 Sherpas its recommendations on trade

On March 3-4, 2013 the Second G20 Sherpas Meeting was held in Moscow. On the second day of the meeting the delegates were addressed by Co-Chair of the Business 20 Trade Taskforce Alexey Mordashov.

"Promoting international trade and ensuring that supply chains can continue to evolve efficiently are of the issues of greatest importance and should remain one of the core items of the G20 agenda," - Alexey Mordashov emphasized. - Myths that trade has a negative impact on local jobs are counterproductive and hinder the development of the world economy. Experience of recent decades has shown that those countries in which trade barriers are lower and which are actively engaged in the international trade processes have higher growth rate. Governments and international organizations should find new ways of communicating the actual impact of trade on the long-term growth and creation of new, highly productive jobs. Trade is one of the tools that allow facilitating growth of the global economy in general, as well as growth in particular countries, through measures that are budget neutral."

In this context, the B20 urges the G20 to encourage governments and international organizations to pay particular attention to three action areas: fighting protectionism, trade facilitation and ensuring the compatibility of preferential trade agreements with broader, multilateral goals.

Concerning the fight against protectionism, the G20 should extend the deadline standstill and monitoring protectionism after 2014, further strengthening the monitoring system and exploring ways to reverse protectionist measures and ensure full respect for the existing multilateral trade commitments.

"The G20 has played an important role in inhibiting protectionism," - Mr. Mordashov admitted. - "Generally, the world remains open for trade. We think it is vital to continue our efforts in this direction, and the extension of the WTO mandate on protectionism measures monitoring after 2014 could be a significant practical step forward."

To achieve progress in the sphere of trade facilitation, the G20 governments should urge all parties to finalize the wording of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement by the G20 Summit in September, for the final agreement to be concluded at the Bali WTO Ministerial in December.

"This agreement covers the removal of administrative barriers to trade, and enhancing the work of custom and other authorities engaged in goods and services cross-border logistics," - The Business 20 Taskforce Co-Chair explained. - "Currently, as suggested by the OECD estimates, international trade losses due to demurrage resulting from administrative delays are as high as 4%."

Addressing the issue of Preferential Trade Agreements (PTA) Alexey Mordashov noted: "We think that developing such agreements should correspond to the best practices and comply with the principles of free trade. Therefore the B20 recommends the G20 to task the WTO with analyzing and preparing a compilation of the existing best practices in this field, for them to accessible for those countries that are interested in making such agreements."

"Growing trade and expanding supply chains offer a 'win-win' potential. Let's make sure it does not become a missed opportunity," - Mr. Mordashov concluded.