The Week Ahead in International Trade: Customs Day, central bank meetings and New Hampshire

Mon 22 Jan 2024
Posted by: Phillip Adnett

digital news: on laptop and phone

The Red Sea crisis is likely to dominate trade headlines this week, but customs experts at least have International Customs Day to look forward to on Friday, with the World Customs Organization (WCO) this year recognising how the sector engages both “traditional and new partners with purpose”.

We could also get a glimpse as to whether central banks around the world think that inflation is finally on the downturn.

Celebrating customs: Rejoice, for Friday (26 January) is International Customs Day. Held annually to celebrate the importance of customs rules, documentation and procedures to the global economy, as well as raising awareness of how trade authorities can help goods flows across international borders, it is held on the anniversary of the first meeting of the WCO.

The WCO has set the theme of this year’s event as “customs engaging traditional and new partners with purpose”.

Webinar: On Thursday (25 January), the Institute of Export and International Trade (IOE&IT) is partnering with data and standards experts GS1 to deliver a webinar explaining the new processes, regulations and requirements for UK exports to Europe.

Called ‘EU market mastery: unpacking success’, the session will give an overview of post-Brexit rules as well as practical tips on how to succeed in European markets.

You can sign up to the webinar here.

Parliament: This week, Tuesday is the day most focused on trade matters in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords:

  • The Business and Trade Committee hears evidence on the UK’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
  • The Treasury Committee also hears Oral Evidence – SME Finance 
  • The Trade (CPTPP) Bill is set for its third reading in the House of Lords

New Hampshire: Also on Tuesday is another important milestone in the US presidential race, as the Republicans hold their New Hampshire primary.

After former president Donald Trump’s victory last week in Iowa – and yesterday’s dropout of one of his chief competitors, Florida governor Ron DeSantis – Trump could effectively wrap the competition up with another strong victory, setting the stage for the presidential election in November.

Bank meetings: This week could tell us more about how authorities around the world think inflation is progressing and if they think the Red Sea crisis is likely to add to the problem.

Three of the world’s central banks – the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank and Bank of Canada – are meeting with decisions looming on potential interest rate cuts.

Other dates for the diary

  • Monday: EU foreign affairs council due to meet and discuss both the ongoing war in Ukraine and the Middle East crisis
  • Tuesday: Institute for Government annual conference, featuring Labour’s education lead Wes Streeting and former chancellors Kwasi Kwarteng and Sajid Javid.
  • Wednesday: The US Academy Awards’ Oscar nominations are released
  • Thursday: The European Central Bank makes its decision on whether to cut or raise the base rate of inflation
  • Friday: Australia Day
  • Saturday: Holocaust Memorial Day
  • Sunday: Finish presidential election