22 November 2013

Trade facilitation is vital for economic growth

Trade facilitation, along with other measures and initiatives designed to liberalize global trade, are needed primarily for maintaining long-term economic growth, creating high-tech jobs and improving public prosperity, said Alexei Mordashov, chair of the Business 20 Task Force on Trade as a Growth Factor, in his interview for RIA Novosti. The G20 countries, which account for 90% of global trade, are to take the lead in international efforts aimed at creating a more open and effective multilateral trade system.

Removing the bottlenecks in global supply chains will bring a strong impetus for the development of international trade, economic growth and creation of new jobs, Mr. Mordashov continued. In his opinion, these efforts should include not only technically complex solutions but also more efficient coordination. He recalled that in September, during the St.Petersburg Summit, the G20 Leaders backed the proposal of the business community to sign a trade facilitation agreement at the upcoming WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali.

Mr. Mordashov believes that this agreement could help intensify international economic activity, cut costs, and reduce administrative expenses in production costs, thereby making exports more competitive. A trade facilitation agreement would be beneficial not only for the developed but for the developing and least developed countries either, especially taking into account the fact that international community is in dire need for new sources of economic growth, Mr. Mordashov explained.

The G20 Leaders urged all countries to refrain from protectionism. The Business 20 experts believe that the economic crisis of 2008-2009 cannot justify the introduction of trade limits, which only prevent the global economy from returning to the path of sustainable growth.

Mr. Mordashov said that one of Russia's achievements during its G20 Presidency was the extension of the standstill agreement on protectionism until 2016. This will strengthen the business community's confidence and will certainly stimulate investment activity in the export- and import-oriented industries, the Russian expert said.

Full version of the interview you can find here (only Russian version)