Trade and Investment

In 2016, the Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG) was established under the Chinese G20 Presidency and since then has been carried on by all successive G20 Presidencies. The OECD supports the G20’s work on trade and investment through its active participation in the Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG). Some of the areas where the OECD has contributed to the G20’s trade and investment discussion include trade and investment policy responses to the COVID-19 crisis, global value chains, digital trade and cross-border data flows, trade in services, investment facilitation, and FDI screening.

In 2021, the Italian G20 Presidency has put at the core of its trade agenda the WTO reform; trade in services and investment facilitation; as well as trade and health, with level playing field and sustainability issues playing a central role, together with boosting MSMEs international competitiveness. The OECD supported this agenda with analytical inputs on the resilience of GVCs, trade in services – including digital trade, level playing field issues and transparency of government support, and investment facilitation. The OECD also provided insights for the Policy Toolkit on ‘Promoting Born Green via Digital MSMEs and Entrepreneurship in Global Supply Chains’.

Resilient Supply Chains

COVID-19 has placed significant strains on supply chains, with serious implications for international trade and investment. This experience demonstrates that international supply chains will continue to be subjected to unexpected disruptions.  Citizens around the world will continue to demand that governments take steps to ensure security of supply, and policy makers will need policy solutions that address these expectations without resorting to beggar-thy-neighbour measures. 

The OECD informed its G20 contributions in 2021 on the basis of the OECD toolkit for Resilient Supply Chains built on 4 key dimensions:  1) Anticipating risks to develop the necessary strategies and governance arrangements to manage them and analyze their potential disruptions; 2) Minimising exposure to shocks through resilient critical infrastructure, enablers of digital trade, sound procurement management and regulatory flexibility; 3) Building trust through firm-level risk management strategies, public-private action plans, the stress testing of supply chains, and strategic governance at the national level; 4) Keeping markets open by promoting predictable and transparent trade and investment policy regimes, and further promoting trade facilitation and international regulatory cooperation.

Monitoring of Trade and Investment Measures

Mandated by Leaders in 2009, the OECD – with WTO and UNCTAD – has been monitoring and regularly reporting on G20 countries’ trade and investment policies. The OECD monitors G20 countries’ commitment to keep markets open and refrain from “raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods or services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing WTO inconsistent measures to stimulate exports.”

Making Trade Work for All

Faced with an increasing backlash against globalization and public skepticism about the benefits of trade, the G20 addressed with the support of the OECD and other international organisations the full range of policy responses that can make the economic and trade system work better for more people, and assessed the impact of trade-related measures that open or restrict market access. In its report Making Trade Work for All, the OECD addressed the trade backlash and how to make trade improve lives and create new opportunities for all.

Trade and Investment Nexus

During its G20 Presidency, China put the nexus between trade and investment on the agenda. In 2016, Trade Ministers endorsed the G20 Guiding Principles for Global Investment Policymaking. Building on its existing body of work (i.e., the G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises), the OECD contributed substantively to the TIWG’s broader discussion on policy coherence in the trade-investment nexus as well as on investment facilitation and related policy issues.

Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity

Low steel prices, weak profitability and trade disturbances are some of the effects of excess capacity that are being felt by steel manufacturers around the world.  The OECD acts as a facilitator of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity, set up by G20 Leaders in 2016 to commonly address this issue