International trade and investment are the main instruments that combine cohabitation between nations and are the main drivers of the spread of wealth and job creation. Protectionism undermines the benefits of trade, which is why the ICC has consistently called on the G20 to remove measures that create barriers to trade. To this end, the G20 agreement to freeze the introduction of protectionist measures by extending the status quo agreement until 2016 is an important achievement in the midst of different trade opportunities that, because of the determination and commitment of the G20 countries, will stabilize the conditions for creating growth and jobs. But the G20 countries must not only avoid the introduction of new protectionist measures, but also commit to eliminating them. The ICC believes that the G20 plays a leading role in opening markets and that regular discussions on the impact of such measures by G20 sherpas and trade ministers would be a useful mechanism for keeping markets open. The benefits of opening markets to the global economy are considerable and CCI-commissioned research has shown that if G20 countries halve protectionist measures, global GDP could increase by $7 trillion. The work of G20 officials last year has provided, among other things, a focus on trade, protectionism, taxation, anti-corruption and other measures that are at the heart of the ICC`s political agenda and have the potential to create millions of jobs and stimulate growth in the global economy. For these reasons, the global economy attaches great importance to the G20, especially as so many of today`s major economic problems are global and require a comprehensive approach to managing them. The following sections describe the ICC`s initial views on the content of the St. Petersburg results on the elements of the G20 agenda that are essential to the ICC`s work. Two weeks ago, G20 leaders held an emergency summit that yielded a modest result. The summit communiqué contained an important expression of global solidarity, some underpass tasks to conduct ongoing consultations, and no mention of critical segments of the economy such as energy.
While the result was an urgent recognition of the need for global cooperation, it lacked the concrete action plan and real coordination that followed the 2008-2009 financial crisis. Due to the inability to find a solution to the impending fall in oil prices, G20 energy ministers will meet this week to find a possible solution. Three important and tangible things can come from this meeting and perhaps lead to the G20 agreement, which the world really needs right now.