Investment: G20 governments must step up efforts to resist protectionism, says OECD, WTO, UNCTAD report


31/10/2012 - The OECD, WTO and UNCTAD have called on G20 governments to step up efforts to resist protectionism in the face of continuing high unemployment and a weak economic recovery.


In their eighth report to the G20, the organisations say that strengthened multilateral co-operation is needed and urge countries to show leadership in keeping markets open.


“The temptation towards protectionism is as strong today as ever with the crisis continuing to undermine our economies,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “Now more than ever governments must hold firm on their commitments to open and transparent investment. G20 leaders have an essential role to play in revitalising the multilateral trading and investment system.” 


G20 members have on the whole continued honouring their pledge not to introduce new restrictive investment measures, according to analysis of actions taken between May 2012 and October 2012.


Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, Russia and Turkey amended their investment policies, while almost exclusively reducing restrictions to international capital flows and improving clarity for investors, according to the report.


Twelve G20 members signed bilateral investment treaties or international investment agreements over that period, including Australia, China, Japan, Korea and the European Union.


G20 leaders have committed to resist protectionism and promote global trade and investment at summits since 2008. They mandated WTO, OECD and UNCTAD – the leading international organisations in international trade and investment policies – to monitor developments and report publicly on countries’ adherence to their commitments.

>> The previous report was issued in May 2012.

>> For further information or comment, journalists should contact Joachim Pohl of the OECD’s Investment Division (tel. +33 1 45 24 95 82).

>> Further information about the OECD’s work on investment policies can be found at