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18 Dec 2013

Global rules for global trade

Douglas Flint

by Douglas Flint

HSBC Group Chairman

Douglas Flint, HSBC Group Chairman, discusses recent developments in global trade policy.

A "coordinated approach" to global trade policies is essential to ensure that the benefits of trade expansion are felt fairly and equitably, according to Douglas Flint, HSBC Group Chairman. Mr Flint was speaking in Brussels at a conference on the role of trade and investment in driving growth.

Trade talks

  • Multilateral talks involve all 159* WTO member states
  • Plurilateral talks involve some but not all WTO members
  • Regional or bilateral talks focus on trade across particular regions and between particular countries

* As of March 2013

It is important that these agreements are seen as steps towards a more harmonised and coordinated programme of trade agreements

Mr Flint said that it was important for trade rules to be "as inclusive as possible to maximise the economic benefits". He made his comments before the most recent round of World Trade Organization (WTO) talks in Bali, which he said may "breathe life" back into multilateral negotiations.

Mr Flint told the HSBC Brussels conference that ongoing discussions about other plurilateral and regional deals represented "important developments for Europe", and he supported them.

However, he added: "It is important that these agreements are seen as steps towards a more harmonised and coordinated programme of trade agreements, which are vital both in terms of delivering a more significant expansion of trade and ensuring that the benefits of trade expansion are felt fairly and equitably."

Douglas Flint was speaking to the HSBC Brussels conference on the role of trade and investment in driving growth on 27 November 2013.

Download Douglas Flint’s speech at the HSBC Brussels conference

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