A Call to Leadership on the Doha Round

Joint business statement on the Doha Round of trade negotiations, issued 10 December 2007

As business stakeholders in the global economy and representatives of key economic drivers of worldwide trade, investment and employment, we, the undersigned, call upon our national leaders and WTO members to exert leadership to achieve a commercially meaningful outcome to the Doha Round.

We applaud recent high level statements by various heads of state and government and regional groups in support of a Doha Round agreement that liberalises and expands trade globally, and we firmly believe that based on clear political leadership in the coming weeks a final agreement is within reach.

We firmly believe in the primacy of a strong, multilateral rules-based trading system and the advancement of multilateral trade liberalisation as essential to promoting growth, opportunity and prosperity in every economy. The Doha Round is a once-in-a-generation opportunity of enormous promise and relevance, and the time for final action is now.

While each of our organisations has politically sensitive issues and economic concerns at home, we stand united in our support for concluding an ambitious and balanced outcome to the Doha Round centered on providing more open, transparent and predictable conditions for trade in agriculture, industrial goods and services, and we recognise that both developed and advanced developing nations must contribute meaningfully toward a successful conclusion.

We support the Chairmen’s texts on agriculture and industrial goods as a major step toward a breakthrough and believe that further refinement of these texts in a revised form, and an accompanying text on services, should serve as the basis for final negotiations. In addition, texts on trade facilitation and rules must be part of the final negotiations. We urge positive action by developed and advanced developing nations to achieve agreement on core modalities as soon as possible on the basis of these refined texts.

We recognise that fundamental reform and market opening of agricultural markets is of vital importance to developing nations, while also recognising that all major trading nations must engage in providing market access commitments on agriculture to the broader benefit of less developed nations.

We urge national leaders to achieve substantial market access outcomes on industrial goods and services, particularly among developed and advanced developing countries.

Agreement on improved trading rules, including trade facilitation and enhanced transparency provisions, alongside continued vigorous capacity building and technical assistance for poorer developing countries are also essential to realising the full potential of the Doha Round.

We are committed to supporting a successful outcome to the Doha Round within our respective countries and to reaching agreement on core modalities as soon as possible towards these vital objectives.

Signatories
AmCham EU (Belgium)
AmCham Singapore (Singapore)
AmCham Thailand (Thailand)
American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (Japan)
Australian Industry Group (Australia)
Business Council of Australia (Australia)
Business Roundtable (United States)
Business Leadership South Africa (South Africa)
Business New Zealand (New Zealand)
Canadian Chamber of Commerce (Canada)
Canadian Services Coalition (Canada)
Chinese National Federation of Industries (Taiwan)
Colombian Association of Flower Exporters (Colombia)
Colombian Banking Association (Colombia)
Colombian Federation of Cattle Breeders and Raisers (Colombia)
Colombian Chamber of Construction (Colombia)
Confederation for Production and Commerce (Chile)
Confederation of British Industry (United Kingdom)
Emergency Committee for American Trade (United States)
Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern) (New Zealand)
EUROCHAMBRES (Belgium)
Federation of German Industry (Germany)
Federation of Hong Kong Industries (Hong Kong)
Foreign Trade Association (Belgium)
HK Coalition of Service Industries (Hong Kong)
Korean International Trade Association (Korea)
National Association of Manufactures (United States)
National Business Association of Colombia (Colombia)
National Foreign Trade Council (United States)
Panamanian Business Executives Association (Panama)
Peruvian Foreign Trade Society (Peru)
Singapore Business Federation (Singapore)
The Federation of Korean Industries (Korea)
The General Chamber of Commerce of ROC (Taiwan)
Uruguayan National Chamber of Commerce and Services (Uruguay)
U.S. Chamber of Commerce (United States)
United States Council for International Business (United States)