G20 countries agree to back rules-based trading system to boost global economy
The G20 member countries on Saturday agreed to support policies that would enable trade and investment to serve as an engine of growth and prosperity for all.
According to the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, a rules-based, non-discriminatory, fair, open, inclusive, equitable, sustainable and transparent multilateral trading system, with WTO (World Trade Organisation) at its core, is indispensable.
“We will support policies that enable trade and investment to serve as an engine of growth and prosperity for all,” it said.
Fair trade pledge
The leaders renewed their commitment to ensure a level-playing field and fair competition by discouraging protectionism and market distorting practices, to foster a favourable trade and investment environment for all.
“We reiterate the need to pursue WTO reform to improve all its functions through an inclusive member-driven process, and remain committed to conducting discussions with a view to having a fully and well- functioning dispute settlement system accessible to all members by 2024,” it added.
They agreed to work constructively to ensure positive outcomes at the WTO’s Thirteenth Ministerial Conference (MC13), which is scheduled in February in Abu Dhabi.
MC is the highest decision making body of the Geneva-based 164-member multilateral body — WTO, which frames rules for global exports and imports besides adjudicating trade disputes between the member countries.
“Today we ensure that trade and environment policies should be mutually supportive, consistent with WTO and multilateral environmental agreements,” the declaration said.
This point assumes significance as developing countries like India have expressed concerns over a decision of the European Union (EU) to impose carbon tax on certain goods imported by them.
MSME challenges and G20 initiatives
Recognising challenges being faced by the MSMEs, particularly in developing countries, it said that the leaders welcome ‘Jaipur Call for Action’ for enhancing MSMEs’ access to information to promote their integration into international trade.
They welcomed the adoption of the G20 Generic Framework for Mapping Global Value Chains (GVC) to help members identify risks and build resilience.
According to the declaration, the G20 countries “welcome the High-Level Principles on Digitalisation of Trade Documents and will make efforts to encourage implementation, and encourage other countries to consider these principles”.
It added that the members emphasised on the importance of WTO’s ‘Aid for Trade’ initiative to enable developing countries, notably LDCs (least developed countries) to effectively participate in global trade, including through enhanced local value creation.
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