The International Chamber of Commerce yesterday warned that the collapse of the Doha round of world trade talks could lead to an increase in protectionism and trade disputes.
"Failure to reach an agreement creates a systemic risk - opening the door to a resurgence in protectionism, a greater number of trade disputes and even more bilateral trade agreements," said the ICC, which represents businesses in more than 130 countries.
The organisation urged WTO member countries to resume negotiations.
"The lack of political will on the part of WTO members to resolve differences on agricultural subsidies and market access has put the entire round and the multilateral trading system in peril," said ICC chairman Marcus Wallenberg.
"Resumption of these negotiations will require changes in entrenched positions.
"Until then, a major opportunity to generate economic growth, create jobs and raise living standards across the world has been put on hold. All WTO member countries will lose."