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At the height of the crisis, the G20 committed to act collectively to fight against protectionist measures, and to address innovative issues not directly part of the international trade negotiations. At the request of the G20, the OECD has been working in the following areas:



In November 2008, G20 Leaders committed to keep markets open and to refrain from "raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods or services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing World Trade Organization (WTO) inconsistent measures to stimulate exports" (Declaration of the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy, 15 November 2008). This "standstill agreement" has since been extended by G20 Leaders - from 2013 to 2014, at the Los Cabos Summit in 2012– and from 2015 to 2016, at the St Petersburg Summit in 2014.

Since the London Summit in April 2009, G20 Leaders have called on the WTO, OECD and UNCTAD to monitor and publicly report on G20 Members’ trade and investment measures, in order to check overall compliance against agreement. The OECD has been working with the UNCTAD on the investment side of the monitoring exercise and is contributing to the section on trade with the co-operation of the WTO. The most recent, 14th joint WTO-OECD-UNCTAD report was published on 2 November 2015.

At the 2014 Summit, G20 leaders adopted the Brisbane Action Plan which requested analysis to “better understand the nature of the stock of protectionist measures introduced since the global financial crisis and their impact on trade and investment” [November 2014]. Responding to this call, the OECD has developed an assessment of the economic impact of protectionist measures adopted since the start of the crisis.


Building on their innovative work in this domain, the OECD were asked by G20 Leaders assembled in Los Cabos to analyse the implications of the emergence of regional and global value chains in international trade, jointly with the WTO and UNCTAD. 

In response to this call, the OECD and the WTO launched the Trade in Value Added (TiVA) database which measures trade in value-added. The two organisations also delivered the OECD-WTO-UNCTAD report to G20 on Implications of Global Value Chains for Trade, Investment, Development and Jobs to Leaders in St. Petersburg.  In response to a renewed call from G20 Trade Ministers and Leaders, the OECD developed in 2014 an analysis of the impediments to participation in GVCs and warranted policy action, including structural reforms, to boost trade as a source of growth. 

Under the Turkish Presidency in 2015, our work on GVCs responded to the Presidency’s priorities. Its focus was on the challenge of making GVCs more “inclusive” by overcoming participation constraints for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and facilitating access for Low Income Developing Countries (LIDCs). The findings of the report Inclusive Global Value Chains: Policy options in trade and complementary areas for GVC Integration by small and medium enterprises and low-income developing countries were presented to G20 Trade Ministers by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria at the annual ministerial meeting that took place in Istanbul on 6 October 2015.


The OECD has been pursuing work in this area through the International Collaborative Initiative on Trade and Employment (ICITE). Coordinated by the OECD, ICITE is a joint undertaking of 10 leading international organisations requested by G20 Leaders to take a fresh look at the relationship between trade and jobs. The OECD has contributed to this G20 agenda with the following work: 


In addition, the OECD has contributed to the G20 Leaders’ support in Antalya for the ratification and implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in 2015. The Organisation has updated its Trade Facilitation Indicators for over 160 countries with 2015 data in order to support the TFA.