DOHA: The 5th Asia Pacific CEO Forum of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) kicked off in Jakarta on 12 March in partnership with Qatar Chamber (QC).
The event brought together CEOs and senior government officials to discuss the interrelation between climate change and trade as well as how businesses in the Asia Pacific region can deliver on the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda for people, planet and prosperity.
Featured speakers and panelists at this year’s forum included ICC Chair Paul Polman, ICC First Vice-Chair and President and CEO of Mastercard Ajay Banga, ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO , President of ICC Indonesia Ilham Akbar Habibie and Founder of ICC Asia Pacific CEO Forum Raghu Mody.
Commenting on the forum, QC and ICC Qatar Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani said that climate change has become a real challenge for global trade and economic growth, stressing the importance of addressing this phenomenon through augmenting cooperation among all concerned institutions, notably world chambers of commerce.
Sheikh Khalifa said that this forum emphasized the stressing need to combat risks of climate change which would otherwise lead to a weakened world economy and would have a staggering impact on many vital economic sectors such as agriculture, food security, tourism and transport.
HE added: “The State of Qatar has signed the Paris Agreement on climate change. Its constitution stipulates preservation of the environment with a view of achieving the sustainable and inclusive development for all generation,”
QC Chairman affirmed that the Qatar National Vision 2030 calls for supporting the international efforts to mitigate impacts of climate change as well as performing a regional role in alleviating its negative effects.
He pointed out that reducing the dependence on unrenewable hydrocarbon resources is a priority for Qatar, noting the tireless efforts are being made to enhance the use of renewable energy.
The ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton said: “The ICC CEO Forum is a unique opportunity to bring Asia Pacific leaders together for discussions on global issues shaping the future of commercial opportunities, investments and trade,”
“ICC is equally committed to the UNFCCC – including the Paris Agreement – and to the rules-based multilateral trade system under the World trade Organization (WTO). The nexus between international trade and climate change presents an important opportunity to deliver substantive and actionable measures for the benefit of climate change mitigation,” he added.
A Forum panel looking at ways in which the benefits of a strengthened rules-based multilateral trading system and a new long-term and effective global framework for combating climate change can be mutually reinforcing will also see the launch of a new report on climate change and trade agreements.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report titled Climate change and trade agreements: Friends or foes? was commissioned by ICC as part its World Trade Agenda initiative in partnership with the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The report assesses the degree to which the World Trade Organization and four contemporary free trade agreements support opportunities for boosting climate-friendly trade flows.
Source from: The Peninsula