The Week Ahead in International Trade: WTO MC13 and IOE&IT webinar on global risk

Mon 26 Feb 2024
Posted by: Danielle Keen

It’s an important week in global trade, as officials from around the world meet for the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 13th Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi and the Institute of Export and International Trade (IOE&IT) hosts two significant webinars.

MC13: This week marks the start of MC13 – the WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference, which is being held in Abu Dhabi.

As increasing geopolitical fragmentation casts doubt over the ability of the Geneva-based body to secure multilateral decisions by consensus, trade ministers will gather to try to reach agreements on agricultural rules, delaying digital trade taxation and the accession of two new members.

IOE&IT’s director general, Marco Forgione, and head of trade policy, Hemita Bhatti, will be in attendance. Bhatti gave her thoughts on the event in last week’s Daily Update.

Europe comes together for Ukraine: As French president Emmanual Macron hosts a summit in support of Ukraine following Russia’s victories in Avdiivka, it’s expected that Hungary will approve Sweden’s accession to NATO.

On Thursday (29 February), Putin will be making an address ahead of Russia’s election next month and following the introduction of further sanctions against the country after former opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death in custody.

Post Office: Adding to last week’s Commons drama, the dispute between business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch and former Post Office chair Henry Staunton will play out in a committee session tomorrow (27 February).

After senior civil servant Sarah Munby publicly denied that she instructed Staunton to delay compensation payments, he’ll be defending his version of events while giving evidence to the Business and Trade Committee.

Public webinar: IOE&IT will be explaining how businesses can best approach risk management amid growing geopolitical tensions in a free webinar on Wednesday, which you can sign up to here.

Executive editor William Barns-Graham will be hosting a panel of risk experts, including insurance brokers The Bletchley Group, to discuss timely issues such as the impact of this year’s many elections, the rise of AI and the increasing importance of sustainability.

Lunchtime Learning: Sustainability will also be explored in his week’s member-exclusive webinar, picking up where we left off last week when we covered environment, social and governance (ESG) standards. Members can watch the recording here.

Trade and customs specialist Sandra Cooper is back to explain what businesses need to know about the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) – the EU’s new tax on high-polluting imports.

IOE&IT members can still sign up here.

Other dates in the diary:

Monday – OEUK clean energy transition manifesto released

Tuesday – MakeUK National manufacturing conference held

Wednesday – G20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs meet in Sao Paulo

Thursday – Canada, India and Turkey Q4 GDP figures released

Friday – UK and China manufacturing PMIs released and LNER and Northern Rail strike

Saturday – US presidential election caucuses held

Sunday – UK rail fares increase