The Week Ahead in International Trade: COP28 kicks off, food and drink SIG and Kemi takes questions

Mon 27 Nov 2023
Posted by: Danielle Keen

News being checked on phone

The world of international trade will give its full focus to the environment this week, with COP28 being held in Dubai.

Closer to home, Hampton Court Palace will play host to a Global Investment Summit, while secretary for business and trade Kemi Badenoch will answer parliamentary questions on trade later this week.

Virtually, IOE&IT members can join the second food and drink special interest group (SIG) session for networking and expert insight.

COP28 – World leaders will be heading to Dubai for the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference this Thursday (30 November).

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak has confirmed his attendance and King Charles III will be delivering the meeting’s opening address on Friday (1 December).

The summit’s core aim is to create a plan of action to protect the Paris Agreement’s aim of minimising global warming to 1.5ºC.

This year’s conference has been met with controversy. Not only is the UAE one of the world’s biggest oil producers, but the chief executive of the country’s state-owned oil company, Sultan Al Jaber, has been appointed COP president.

A coalition of over 100 environmental organisations led by sent an open letter to Sultan Al Jaber, expressing concerns about a reduction in the level of agreement required by nations and a shift away from fossil fuel reduction towards carbon capture.

Food and drink SIG – The second meeting of the food and drink-focused special interest group will take place tomorrow (28 November) and address building supply chain resilience, covering how to find the right distributor and establish your reputation as a reliable supplier.

As ever, there will be expert input, this time from UK Food & Drink Exporters Association director of export service Nicola Thomas. There’ll also be the opportunity for members to network, sharing their own experience of supply chain challenges.

Trade questions – Fresh from her appearance at the Covid Inquiry last week in her capacity as equalities minister, business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch will be facing more questions on Thursday (30 November), this time from MPs as part of a parliamentary oral questions session.

Questions will address how the department has helped SMEs export and the benefits available to them through the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

She’ll also face questions on the progress of trade deal talks with India. As negotiations to finalise the 24th and 25th chapters got underway in recent months, speculation has grown as to whether the deal will be finalised before the year ends.

However, concerns over visas for migrant workers and intellectual property have stymied discussions during the later stages of the negotiations.

Global Investment Summit – Today (27 November) prime minister Rishi Sunak and Kemi Badenoch are welcoming potential investors to Hampton Court Palace, with the “singular focus [of] driving growth and creating jobs”. Powerful corporate leaders with deep pockets, such as David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, and Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, will be in attendance. Almost £30bn in investment has already been pledged. IOE&IT has the full story.

Other dates in the diary:

Monday – Charles Michel visits Hungary for talks with Viktor Orban

Tuesday – The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) annual dinner will be held in London

Wednesday – The UN Security Council will debate the conflict in the Middle East

Thursday – OECD Economic Outlook released

Friday – Brazil will assume the G20 presidency ahead of next year’s November summit in Rio de Janeiro

Saturday – Small Business Saturday

Sunday – COP28 talks on health, recovery and peace