The Week in Trade: 29 September

Fri 29 Sept 2023
Posted by: Danielle Keen

A belated happy National Manufacturing Day to you! We celebrated all things factory-floor and beyond yesterday by diving into the worlds of advanced manufacturing and 3D printing and offering a round-up of trade-related sector news.

It’s been a busy week for the Institute of Export and International Trade (IOE&IT), as trade and customs specialist, Susan Roe, spoke on a panel at the eCommerce Expo in London, delivering insights on the value of frictionless eCommerce experiences and the value of AI to businesses.

The big picture: Kicking off the newsletter proper with some less upbeat news,world trade is falling at its fastest rate since the pandemic. Inflation and interest rate rises were largely to blame.

And in a riposte to increasing Conservative China hawkishness,the Times covered deputy prime minister, Oliver Dowden, delivering some uncompromising maths to outline why the UK needs to collaborate with China on AI:

Good week/bad week: Scotland had good trade news last week, with the appointment of new export champions, while this week Wales got a boost, with a crack team of international trade advisers moving to Cardiff to help Welsh firms boost exports. This will double the DBT’s existing presence in Wales, according to Business Live.

It was a bad week for Singaporean company Hydronav, which faced a US$1.1m fine for exporting good without the right permits. The sales manager and import/export director were personally fined US$35,000 and US$45,000, respectively.

How’s stat? £25bn is the estimated boost to UK GDP from the digitalisation of our borders. But, before we see that gain business will experience some discomfort from a tidal wave of new rules and regulations. According to a new IOE&IT report issued this week trading businesses face over 20 major changes in the next 18 months. Help and insight can be found here.

The week in customs: Border boffins with a military bent congregated at the 17th Defence Exports Conference to discuss export controls. Content editor, Phil Adnett, diligently followed along to offer his expert take on discussions of due diligence and compliance measures.

Quote of the week: “I don’t see any contradiction between the exploration of oil and gas and the clear, objective, safe and firm decision… to carry out the energy transition in a just and inclusive way,” Brazilian energy minister, Alexandre Silveira, told the FT jumping on the bandwagon for logic-defying climate policy .

What else we covered this week: Benjamin Roche, gave us a round-up of trade news from Russia and Central Asia, alongside a peek into the Lib Dem’s pre-manifesto pledges.

Phil Adnett also brought us updates on the UK’s trade relationship, reporting on the memorandum of understanding signed with Washington State and talks between the UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

As part of National Inclusion Week, Richard Cree spoke to our HR whizz Hollie Ward, to find out how IOE&IT works towards achieving Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) aims.

Executive Editor, William Barns-Graham, covered the eCommerce expo, distilling the insights from Roe’s panel, which also feature speakers from Google, Meta and Shopline.

True facts: More countries will need to bring forward their net zero targets if global warming is to be limited to 1.5ºC, reported the Guardian . The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report noting that the 2050 targets set by most countries aren’t ambitious enough. On a brighter note, executive director, Fatih Birol, said recent rises in green investment and growth of renewable energy made him feel “more optimistic than two years ago” about staying beneath 1.5ºC.