BERLIN A group of business executives has urged the Group of 20 leading economies to resist the temptation to take protectionist measures and to foster international economic cooperation.
Germany took over the G20 presidency last week, a platform Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to use to safeguard multilateral cooperation under threat following Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election.
The B20, the G20's business outreach arm, said popular concerns about trade liberalisation should be taken seriously but that "seemingly easy solutions risk having long-term negative consequences for business, workers, and consumers."
"We urge governments to resist the temptation to resort to protectionist measures such as trade barriers or investment restrictions," the B20 added in a statement dated Dec. 8, a copy of which Reuters obtained on Friday.
"The challenges of globalisation cannot be solved within national borders," the group added. "The G20 is an important forum for international economic cooperation."
The statement was signed by corporate executives including the CEOs of chemicals group BASF BASF.DE, Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) and e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA.N).
German officials, while acknowledging privately that they will not have an easy ride leading the G20, stress that the motto for their presidency - "Shaping an Interconnected World" - indicates they want to take globalisation forward through international cooperation rather than roll it back.
(Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Paul Carrel)