| Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) to protect human, animal and plant life |
Most G-20 governments have put in place some restrictive trade measures over
the past six months, but have on the whole honoured their pledge to keep
international investment open, according to the OECD, UNCTAD and WTO.
In their fifth report to the G-20, the OECD (Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development) and UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development) say that most new
investment measures taken by G-20 governments between 16 October 2010 and 28
April 2011 have reduced restrictions to international capital flows and improved
clarity for investors. The WTO (World Trade Organisation) section of the report deals with trade issues.
Three countries introduced new restrictions on investment: Brazil, China and
“There are still many risks to the global economic recovery, so it’s
encouraging that G-20 countries have kept their markets open for foreign
investment,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “But they must
resist calls for trade protectionism if they want to keep the recovery on
Many emergency measures taken in response to the crisis, such as the rescues of
banks and non-financial companies, have now been phased out. The assets and
liabilities resulting from these measures on governments’ accounts are being
wound down, says the report.
At least six countries - - Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom
and the United States - - still hold legacy assets and liabilities in several
hundred financial firms, exceeding $1.5trn for the financial sector alone. But
concerns that the implementation or unwinding of these measures might involve
overt discrimination against foreign investors have not materialised.
Leaders of the G-20, which comprises the world’s largest economies, committed to
resist protectionism and promote global trade and investment at summits in 2008,
2009 and 2010. They mandated WTO, OECD and UNCTAD – the leading international
organisations in the area of international trade and investment policies - - to
monitor policy developments and report publicly on countries’ adherence to their
represents about 90% of global GDP, 80% of world trade (including trade within
the European Union) as well as two-thirds of the world's population, according
to the IMF.
comprises 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France,
Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South
Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK and the US, plus the European Union,
represented by the rotating Council presidency and the European Central Bank.
The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and the President of
the World Bank, plus the chairs of the International Monetary and Financial
Committee and Development Committee of the IMF and World Bank, also participate
at G-20 meetings.
The OECD/UNCTAD report on investment measures
The OECD/UNCTAD/WTO report on trade and investment measures