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BCC urges WTO Ministerial Conference to boost global trade

The British Chambers of Commerce is urging political leaders to aim for bold reforms to boost world trade in goods and services.

It believes too many smaller businesses are still missing out on export opportunities and says politicians heading to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC12) must adopt more practical measures.

It made the call ahead of the start of the four-day meeting in Geneva this Sunday (June 12).

William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said:

“Facing the trade headwinds of the war in Ukraine plus continued supply chain concerns in Asia, smaller businesses need a growth-focused Ministerial Conference in Geneva.

We urge ministers to take further action on kickstarting e-commerce, improving the commitments on gender equality in trade, reaching agreement on subsidies, and adopting a bold reform agenda to create a trade system which business can more easily engage with, and rely upon. 

It is also vital that delegates do not end the moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmission of goods and services. With the Office of Economic Co-operation and Development and WTO both lowering forecasts for global growth this year and next, the last thing businesses need is the re-introduction of customs duties on electronic transmission.

“They would hurt exporters of UK creative, professional and business services in particular. Leaders in Geneva must deliver practical support to smaller businesses in the UK, and beyond, who are keen to scale up their export capacity in the coming months and sustain global economic growth.” 

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