Increasing global trade critical to stimulate recovery

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pretoria - South Africa believes that improving conditions to increase global trade is still critical to stimulating the recovery of the global economy, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies says.

Davies' comments come ahead of the G20 ministerial meeting in Mexico, which starts today.

Davies, who arrived in Mexico on Wednesday, said that the G20 should tackle the growing threat of protectionism and that low-income countries should participate in global trade.

"Participation of low-income countries in global trade is crucial for their growth and poverty reduction endeavours. G20 should foster concrete trade capacity measures to strengthen integration of regional markets and market access, and the availability of trade finance in developing countries," added Davies.

The G20 Trade Ministerial Meeting, which ends on Friday, is expected to hold discussions on trade, growth and jobs. The meeting will take place in Mexico's Pacific coast resort of Puerto Vallarta.

At the March Brics Summit in India, trade ministers were disappointed about the Mexico meeting's agenda, saying that it appeared to undermine the independence and multilateral character of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by asking trade ministers to agree on the creation of a super-body headed by the chiefs of OECD [Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development] countries and the WTO to oversee all the review and monitoring functions of global trade.

Following the G20 meeting, Davies will head to Qatar where he will attend the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) organised World Investment Forum (WIF) 2012. It takes place in Qatar from 20 - 23 April.

WIF 2012 will focus on the changing patterns of foreign investment in the post-crisis global economy, including investment in low-carbon growth and technologies.

"It will also address investment-related challenges and opportunities arising from emerging global economic governance structures, and contribute to developing partnership and policy options for promoting sustainable investment," said departmental spokesperson Sidwell Medupi.

Davies will co-chair a ministerial round table on addressing policy challenges for investment and enterprise development with Qatar counterpart Mr Mohamed Bin Saleh Al-Sada.