Trade & Investment

The B20 community continues to believe that a rules-based multilateral system, ensuring open trade with a level playing field, is crucial for inclusive development and economic growth. To ensure continuity and improvement of the multilateral trade system as an enabler of inclusive and sustainable globalization, a comprehensive approach needs to be undertaken.

An ambitious and positive agenda for the 21st century, which includes the development of new rules and institutional adaptation, is therefore urgently requiredto avoid unilateral approaches and ensure governability. In terms of the Trade Agenda, members of the B20 Trade & Investment Task Force have identified three top priorities where joint action from leaders is required:

Addressing state-related competitive distortions, by initiating negotiations on transparent new rules that would ensure that no party is granted access to any non–commercially available benefit exclusively based on its ownership. These rules would therefore particularly address market-distorting industrial subsidies and consequently trade distorting actions by state-owned enterprises, which the Charlevoix G7 Summit Communique has recently pointed at.

Adapting rules to the digital age in order to provide regulatory coherence and identify regulatory gaps that need to be addressed to facilitate an open, inclusive and transparent digital trade with strong data protection and data privacy regulations.

Ensuring further inclusion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in international trade by improving access to finance, simplifying regulatory environments, tackling non-tariff barriers that impede the fragmentation of global value chains and refraining from introducing new distortive measures that prevent inclusion. The B20 would welcome further concrete joint public-private work in the arena of technical barriers to trade and phytosanitary measures to ensure transparency and full adherence to international standards and scientific evidence in the case of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures.

In terms of the Investment Agenda: the B20 highlights the importance of proactive involvement in investment facilitation negotiations aimed at reaching a predictable, transparent, non-discriminatory investment framework while fully ensuring protection of intellectual property rights. In pursuing these objectives, there is also an opportunity for leaders to reach a clear, shared vision regarding investment screening mechanisms.

The World Trade Organization (WTO), due to its determinant role in international trade, is usually referred to as the guardian of the multilateral trade system. The B20 members concluded that reform and structuralfunctional improvements of the WTO need to be put into place to regain momentum. 

Several institutional reforms such as having a structured business advisory committee, addressing governance methods that would promote advancement (i.e. by considering alternative decision-making methods), as well as enhancing compliance (i.e. by strengthening the notification system), would bring substantial benefits. Finally, the B20 also strongly believes leaders should urgently get the Appellate Body vacant posts filled and work towards reforms that would foster effectiveness and a shortened timeframe for dispute resolutions.

It is utmost importance that G20 countries, who lead by example, strongly support adaptation to new economic realities and take positive actions to reshape the global trading system.   



Paolo Rocca
Grupo Techint
“Trade and Investment need to be fair and reciprocal for globalization to be sustainable, and it is crucial to assure a leveled playing field with transparent rules. We need to address market distortions, including those introduced by governments and those driven by state-related entities."