The Week Ahead in International Trade: Labour in Liverpool, Marrakech meeting for IMF and energy ex

Mon 9 Oct 2023
Posted by: Benjamin Roche

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Labour was meant to get most of the spotlight this week, but as the situation in Israel develops, the party’s annual conference – which began yesterday (8 October) in Liverpool – is likely to be bumped down the agenda.

There should, however, be plenty at the event on Labour’s plans for the economy should Keir Starmer become prime minister after the next general election.

Government in waiting?: The political week began with a speech from shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, who is likely to try to convince business heads to back Labour over the Conservatives.

She announced a reform of planning laws around infrastructure projects, with a view to fast-tracking the development of everything from battery factories to new laboratories.

The party is also planning to change national guidance on consultation around new projects, Reeves said, in order to limit litigation that holds up projects like the recently-axed HS2 project.

Shadow business and trade secretary Jonathon Reynolds also took to the stage today, before tomorrow (10 October) sees Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer take the stage.

NGOs assemble: Also keep an eye out tomorrow for the publication of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook update, the organisation’s biannual analysis of global trends in trade and economics.

Both the IMF and World Bank are running their annual meeting this week in Marrakech. The FT reports that rising levels of debt will be at the heart of discussions.

G20 vision: Occupying the background of these meetings will be the publication of monthly inflation numbers for the US and China, with the former expected to register a 0.3% increase in the headline rate to 3.6%, and to 4.1% in the core rate.

Finance ministers from G20 countries will also converge on Wednesday (11 October), as they meet World Bank governors. The talk at their previous meeting was heavily focused on environmental concerns — something no doubt also on the mind of Greta Thunberg, who will that day be before a court in Sweden after refusing a police order to leave a protest blocking oil-carrying trucks in Malmö in July.

OEUK OK: Labour and the NGOs aren’t the only groups holding meeting this week, with the environment also coming into focus at the Decarbonisation Conference, hosted by Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) and taking place from Thursday onwards.

The event is set to explore how the country’s energy sector can reach net zero carbon emissions.

After wind energy gets some attention this week, solar is set to take its place at the weekend: the sun will (nearly) go down on the week when an almost-total ‘annular’ solar eclipse takes place on Saturday.

Other dates for the diary:

  • Monday: Nobel Prize in Economics awarded
  • Tuesday: International reconstruction conference for Libya
  • Wednesday: Meeting of NATO defence ministers
  • Thursday: Release of monthly UK GDP figures
  • Friday: Andrew Bailey speaks at Institute of International Finance (IIF) meeting
  • Saturday: National Bookshop Day
  • Sunday: SNP conference begins