Keep trade open, British PM urges

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Seoul - British Prime Minister David Cameron has called on the G20 countries to keep the world trade open and shun protectionism.

"It's in our interest to keep world trade moving, to keep those trade barriers down. That's our interest at the G20 and we will pursue it very, very vigorously," Cameron told some 120 corporate leaders from around the world at the Seoul Business Summit.

The two-day business summit had brought together the heads of some 120 of the world's leading companies from 34 developed and developing countries, with combined total sales of over US$4 trillion annually.

"The fear we should all have is a return to what happened in the 1930s -protectionism, trade barriers, currency wars, countries pursuing beggar-my-neighbour policies - trying to do well for themselves but not caring about the rest of the world," he said.

"Stopping protectionism in its tracks and making sure we keep trade open," said the British Prime Minister.

The G20 Summit was expected to address issues such as stability, trade and imbalances which are regarded as critical to the success of the event, he said.

Cameron also welcomed the first meeting between corporate executives and G20 state leaders.

"All of the work we do is nothing unless it encourages businesses to grow and employ people. We want global growth, but you are the people who will deliver," he said.