14 Sept 09 - UNCTAD-WTO-OECD Report on G20 Trade and Investment Measures

UNCTAD-WTO-OECD ReportA Report on G20 Trade and Investment Measures was issued today, jointly prepared by three organizations -- UNCTAD, WTO and OECD -- in response to the G20 Leaders request made at their last summit in London on 2 April 2009. The Report is meant for consideration at the forthcoming G20 summit in Pittsburgh on 24-25 September 2009.

The Report finds that during the period under review, no widespread resort to trade or investment restrictions as a reaction to the global financial and economic crisis could be observed. However, the Report cautions against "policy slippage" in the trade area and a possible protectionist impact in the investment area.

The Report, which is issued against the background of considerably lower global trade and rapidly declining investment flows around the world, surveys policy measures in the area of trade and investment undertaken by G-20 member countries

Overall, the study says, recent policy developments (occurring in the period between April and August 2009) paint a positive picture.

  ... a substantial number of policy changes surveyed were directed at facilitating investment.

The crisis has galvanized G-20 members to promote and facilitate FDI and to create clarity and stability concerning their investment frameworks.

Furthermore, a number of G-20 member countries have further encouraged their companies to venture abroad, and to support their foreign affiliates in times of economic crisis.

Investment Policy Developments in G-20 Countries
UNCTAD, July 2009

There is no indication of a descent into high-intensity protectionism as a reaction to the crisis, involving widespread resort to investment restrictions. However, the report cautions that some G20 governments have established support schemes that can discriminate against foreign investors or raise hidden barriers to outward investments.

The findings of the report are in line with UNCTAD's earlier report on "Investment Policy Developments in G20 countries"  during the global economic crisis (i.e. since October 2008)

UNCTAD monitors national and international policies for investment on a continuous basis as mandated by its member States. For the latest investment policy developments of countries worldwide, see the forthcoming World Investment Report 2009: Transnational Corporations, Agricultural Production and Development, to be launched on 17 September 2009.

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