Brics ministers call on G20 to strengthen coordination

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pretoria - Brics trade ministers have asked their counterparts in the G20 to strengthen coordination in promoting a rigorous response to the current economic uncertainties.

"We have made this call so that all economies may pursue a sustainable and development-friendly integration in global trade, including adjustment strategies for their industries and workforce, as well as the appropriate social and sectoral policies to respond to existing structural vulnerabilities," Trade and Industry (dti) Minister Rob Davies said.

The call of the trade ministers follows the G20 trade ministerial meeting held in Mexico on Thursday and Friday. Trade, as a source of growth and jobs, was among some of the issues discussed at meeting.

The ministers re-emphasised their commitment to the Doha Development Round, adding that the conclusion of the Doha would be a significant step in this direction.

The Doha Round is the latest round of trade negotiations among the World Trade Organisation (WTO) membership. It aims to achieve reforms of the international trading system through introducing lower trade barriers and revised rules.

"The Brics WTO members will continue their efforts for the successful conclusion of the Doha Round, based on the progress made and in keeping with its mandate, while upholding the principles of transparency, inclusiveness and multilateralism.

"We encourage all G20 economies to work constructively toward this end in pursuance of the collective decision taken at the eighth WTO Ministerial Conference," explained Davies.

The Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) ministers' countries have noted the increasing role of global value chains in trade, and that many sectors, industries and countries are not partaking in global value chains as fully as others.

Davies said it would be important to develop a deeper understanding of the development impact of global value chains to serve as instruments of growth and development, as well as conditions under which they can be used to achieve long term socio-economic gains.

"Additionally, attention should be paid to not impose obstacles for the development and effective functioning of global value chains for protectionist reasons. In this context, it would be useful to have a member-driven process, in the WTO, UNCTAD and other intergovernmental agencies, to examine this issue, including the identification of more accurate statistical methods to assess value addition," added Davies.

Meanwhile, Davies has arrived in Qatar to attend the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) XIII Conference, from 21-26 April, which will be preceded by the World Investment Forum (WIF) 2012.

WIF 2012 will focus on the changing patterns of foreign investment in the post-crisis global economy.

Qatar has officially taken over the presidency of UNCTAD for the next four years, making it the first country in the Arab region to preside over the organisation since its inception in 1964.