25 Sept 09 - World leaders applaud UNCTAD´s recent report

UNCTADThe G 20 "Leaders' Statement: The Pittsburgh Summit" welcomes the report that UNCTAD prepared jointly with WTO and OECD on investment and trade measures, and requests the organizations to continue their monitoring and reporting of investment and trade policy developments.

The G 20 "Leaders' Statement: The Pittsburgh Summit" welcomes the recent Report on Trade and Investment Measures that UNCTAD prepared jointly with WTO and OECD.

The Statement also requests UNCTAD, together with WTO, OECD and IMF to continue monitoring the situation within their respective mandates and to report publicly on G 20 commitments on a quarterly basis.

Continuing the revival in world trade and investment is essential to restoring global growth. It is imperative we stand together to fight against protectionism.

We welcome the swift implementation of the $250 billion trade finance initiative.

We will keep markets open and free and reaffirm the commitments made in Washington and London: to refrain from raising barriers or imposing new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions or implementing World Trade Organization (WTO) inconsistent measures to stimulate exports and commit to rectify such measures as they arise.

We will minimize any negative impact on trade and investment of our domestic policy actions, including fiscal policy and action to support the financial sector. We will not retreat into financial protectionism, particularly measures that constrain worldwide capital flows, especially to developing countries.

We will notify promptly the WTO of any relevant trade measures. We welcome the latest joint report from the WTO, OECD, IMF, and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and ask them to continue to monitor the situation within their respective mandates, reporting publicly on these commitments on a quarterly basis.

In preparation to the G 20's Pittsburgh summit and in response to the previous G 20 summit in London (2 April 2009), UNCTAD, WTO and OECD had issued a report on G20 Trade and Investment Measures.

With respect to policy action in the investment area, the report surveyed covered investment measures, investment measures related to national security, emergency and related measures as well as the conclusion of international investment agreements. For the reporting period April to August 2009, the report found that no widespread resort to trade or investment restrictions as a reaction to the global financial and economic crisis could be observed. However, the Report cautioned against "policy slippage" in the trade area and a possible protectionist impact in the investment area.

Regarding investment issues, this finding is in line with UNCTAD's earlier, July 2009 report "Investment Policy Developments in G-20 Countries" .

In the July report, UNCTAD surveyed investment policy developments that have taken place between October 2008 and June 2009, including laws and regulations that either specifically address foreign investment or are related to the general legal framework within which foreign investors operate. Amongst these policy changes, few new laws and regulations could be characterized as being "restrictive" towards FDI. Instead, the crisis had triggered new efforts by countries to promote and facilitate FDI and to enhance the clarity and stability of their investment frameworks. Protectionist pressures, however, could still arise from the spreading of the crisis to less-affected economic sectors and countries, and a new wave of economic nationalism could occur in the aftermath of the crisis, when the exit of the State from bailed-out flagship industries might lead to the protection of "national champions" from foreign takeovers.

The two reports were issued against the background of considerably lower global trade and rapidly declining investment flows around the world.

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