Abu Dhabi: The UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade (MoFT) said it is reviewing a latest report by the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) on G20 countries on trade restrictions.
The G20 has witnessed a slowdown in the imposition of new trade restrictions during the period from mid-May to mid-October 2012, according to the WTO report, on trade measures issued on October 31.
The report said “at a time of continuous economic difficulties, trade frictions seem to be increasing”, calling on G20 governments to “redouble their efforts to keep their markets open, and to advance trade opening as a way to counter slowing global economic growth”.
Lamy added that around 55 per cent of the total number of new measures recorded over the past five months have been categorised as trade facilitating, in comparison with 45 per cent at the time of the previous monitoring report, while the trade facilitating measures cover around 0.7 per cent of G-20 merchandise imports.
The WTO also forecasted a growth in trade of 4.5 per cent in 2013, which is still below the long-term annual average of 5.4 per cent for the last 20 years.
The report ended with a renewed appeal from the directors of the WTO, OECD and UNCTAD to the governments of the G-20 to redouble their efforts to strengthen multilateral cooperation and to seek to avoid situations that would crease trade tensions between them, adding that the multilateral trading and investment system needs to continue to act as an insurance policy against protectionism.
The Ministry’s Trade Negotiations and WTO Department, in its summary and analysis of the report, pointed out that such reports have been released periodically since 2008 to monitor the trade measures that are adopted by the G-20 to deal with the ramifications of the global financial crisis.
The report pointed out that despite the slowdown in imposing trade restrictive measures in the G-20 economies over the past five months, new measures are adding to the stock of restrictions put in place since the outbreak of the global crisis, most of which remain in effect, calling on G-20 governments to redouble their efforts to keep their markets open, and to advance trade opening as a way to counter slowing global economic growth.
It added that as “in previous monitoring reports, trade restrictions and inward-looking policies will only aggravate global problems and risk generating tit-for-tat reactions. The difficulties and concerns generated by the persistence of the global economic crisis, with its many facets, fuel the political and economic pressures put on governments to raise trade barriers. This is not the time to succumb to these pressures”.