Saturday, July 11, 2009

Headwind for Trade Liberalization, How to Cope With Re-emerging Trade Protectionism?

RJ Note: Interesting article. Countries appear to be using global issues such as technology, security and health to increase trade barriers with other countries. Is this a case of do as I say and not as I do?

/PRNewswire/ -- In response to the financial crisis, which is accompanied by the epidemic of H1N1 and the introduction of economic stimulus plans by countries, the trade protectionism is re-emerging. Governments are using covert measures to raise trade barriers under the name of technology, security, environmental protection and etc., in hopes of protecting their own economies directly.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) said on July 1st that in the past few months there had been further slippage towards trade protectionism, and as a result, the global trade volume will likely fall 10% this year. According to WTO, in the past three months, a total of 83 measures restricting trade have been set out by 24 countries, not accounting for measures restricting pork imports taken by 39 countries after the outbreak of the H1N1 flu.

At the Global Think Tank Summit held in Beijing on July 4th, trade protectionism was a hot topic. Participants included think tanks, high-level politicians, Nobel Laureates, CEOs from the global Top 500 enterprises. They proposed initiatives against trade protections, and contributed their ideas on trade liberalization facilitation. "Markets in various countries should integrate regionally and on a global scale; shared policies between countries should also be built so as to avoid trade protectionism," said Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission and former Prime Minister of Italy.

On the summit, leaders of Chambers of Commerce from China, Japan, Korea, EU and other countries and regions collectively launched a "Beijing Initiative," calling for policy-makers from the world's biggest economies to enhance global cooperation, maintain an open economic system in combating the financial crisis, act against trade and investment protectionism for achieving common development, and restore confidence in fueling economic growth.

Fairtheworld.com points out that, trade protectionism goes against the laws of market economy. It might bring in benefits in the short-term for countries and regions resorting to them, yet it will do harm to that economy and the rest of the world in the long-run.

Fairtheworld.com believes that it is not enough to contain trade protectionism through mere consultation and negotiation by governments and international organizations. It is quite possible that countries enforce these protections secretly while shouting their objections.

Technology is a powerful tool in combating trade protectionism. The "Fair N Fair" 3D Virtual Expo platform, developed by Fairtheworld.com, is guided by "globalization" and "Trade liberalization." With the "e-commerce matrix " and "3-dimensional e-commerce" concepts as its framework, it is integrating global high-end enterprises into a virtual, liberalized trade arena, which transcends trade barriers in the real world and generates real transactions as the efficiency multiplier for global enterprises in their trade activities. Companies entering "Fair N Fair" becomes the smallest and most flexible molecule, capitalizing on the huge global industrial network and leading trade tools offered by "Fair N Fair," to explore the global market.

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