[ Nippon Keidanren ] [ Policy ]
4 September 2003


We, business organisations representing companies from developing and developed countries are united in wanting to make the fifth WTO Ministerial Conference a success. In September in Cancun, we look to the 147 WTO Members to take important steps towards a successful conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations by 1 January 2005.

A successful Cancun Conference will:

We therefore call on WTO Members to intensify their efforts to overcome differences and divisions, in a cooperative and constructive spirit. Solutions which take into account the various interests at stake can be found for all issues on the Doha Development Agenda. Trade and investment liberalisation are essential for global economic growth, job creation, and consumer choice in developed and developing countries.

Business is the key driver of the global trading system. Through national and international trade and investment activities, business creates employment and the wealth necessary to raise living standards and environmental protection around the world. In this capacity, we present the following business charter for Cancun. It engages its signatories, but is open to all horizontal and representative business organisations that share our approach and objectives.

1.We are fully committed to the WTO multilateral trading system which is key for global economic governance. Further trade and investment liberalisation is vital for global economic growth:

We support the ambitious and forward-looking DDA negotiations, aimed at accommodating all countries at various levels of development. All issues on the DDA should be addressed on their own merits and progress in parallel. For business, the following issues are essential:

We underline the crucial importance of the agricultural negotiations, especially for many developing countries that depend heavily on this sector for their export earnings or for their economic growth. In addition, a lack of substantive progress in this area risks derailing the other items on the DDA which are vital for future economic growth, employment and development. It is time for all WTO members to engage seriously and realistically in the agriculture negotiations and to contribute to the liberalisation process by making meaningful and balanced commitments in the three pillars of the DDA negotiations, market access, export subsidies and trade-distorting domestic support, while also taking into account the specificity of agriculture and concerns of developing countries.

2.We look for the Cancun Ministerial Conference to:

=> renew a strong commitment to the multilateral process with a road map for the conclusion of the negotiations by January 2005;
=> keep the DDA on track and facilitate progress in all areas of the negotiations. We call on WTO Members particularly to agree on:

3.We fully support the development objectives of the DDA and firmly believe that an open and rules-based multilateral trading system advances key development goals. We pledge to ensure fulfilment of these objectives along the following lines:

The WTO contributes to development and growth in all countries through improved market access for goods and services and by establishing clear rules for economic actors. The Doha Development Agenda will further integrate developing and especially least developed countries in the global marketplace and enable them to reap more fully the benefits of trade and investment liberalisation. We firmly support strengthened and effective technical assistance, capacity building and other needed structural reforms in developing countries as integral to achieving the full benefits of trade liberalisation.

We look for time-bound progress on issues of most importance to developing countries including implementation issues and special and differential treatment. For the phasing-in of new WTO obligations, we support granting flexibility to developing countries according to their different levels of economic development and competitiveness. Meaningful special and differential treatment should be granted to least developed countries.

Technical assistance should focus on capacity building and facilitating the full participation of developing, least developed countries and small developing economies in the negotiating process. Efforts should also be pursued to increase synergies and efficiency between the existing assistance programmes.

4.We note the acceleration and intensification of bilateral and regional trade initiatives:

While regionalism/bilateralism can be a useful means for liberalisation, multilateral liberalisation is our end goal. Therefore, we call on WTO members to allocate all the priority and necessary resources to the ongoing DDA negotiations so that they can be successfully concluded by the agreed 1 January 2005 deadline. A strengthened multilateral framework will ensure that bilateral and regional trade initiatives provide benefits to the entire global economy.

Time is short but the promise of the DDA can still be achieved.


Africa: Pan-African Confederation of Employers (PEC)
The Pan-African Employers' Confederation was founded in 1986 and groups more than 30 national employers' organisations of the continent. It is the voice of employers and the private sector in Africa. PEC has observer status at the level of the International Labour Organisation and the African Union. It is the spokesperson of African employers at the AU Labour and Social Affairs Commission.
Australia: Australian Services Roundtable
Brazil: National Confederation of Industry (CNI)
Chile: Production and Commerce Confederation (CPL)
European Union: Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE)
UNICE represents 35 central industrial and employers federations from 28 European countries, including the 15 EU Member States, acceding countries and other candidate and EFTA countries.
European Services Forum (ESF)
ESF represents 43 major European services companies and 38 European service federations, representing 22 sectors. It represents the very large majority of the European service industries that have a direct interest in supplying international services.
Japan: Nippon Keidanren – Japanese Business Federation
Egypt: Federation of Egyptian Industries
Mexico: Confederation of Mexican Employers – COPARMEX (Pending written confirmation)
Mediterranean: Union of Mediterranean Confederations of Enterprises (UMCE) (Pending written confirmation)
UMCE was created in March 2002. It brings together the main horizontal business organisations from twelve South Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey). UMCE aims to strengthen regional economic integration and coordination to foster economic and social development throughout the Mediterranean region.

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