Week Ahead in International Trade: 'Trade Day' at COP28, pivotal Mercosur meeting and webinars

Mon 4 Dec 2023
Posted by: Danielle Keen

Person checking news on a phone

A busy week in trade commences with the first ever official ’Trade Day’ at a COP conference.

A meeting of Mercosur countries in Brazil on Wednesday could be definitive for the ‘on-again, off-again’ trade deal with the EU and the Institute of Export and International Trade’s (IOE&IT) expertise is on show at a range of webinars, from freeports to e-commerce.

COP28 Trade Day: As we move into the first full week of Dubai’s COP28, today (4 December) will see the introduction of trade as an independent theme within the programme. Events will consider how trade policy can be used to meet green targets and support the transition to clean energy.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) will be holding talks on critical minerals, several discussions will address the role of female entrepreneurs in driving green trade and blockchain’s ability to support sustainable trade will also be explored.

Freeports: Louise Di Blasi, an IOE&IT consultant who is also Liverpool City Region Freeport’s head of customs, will be speaking as part of a Department for Business and Trade (DBT) webinar tomorrow (5 December) at 10am.

Discover UK Freeports: the next stepping stone for international expansion will explain the tax and customs benefits that freeports offer and what businesses can do to best capitalise upon them.

UK-EU webinar: IOE&IT’s Kevin Shakespeare and Anna Doherty will also be lending their expertise to a webinar on EU-UK trade changes that are due to be introduced over the next year, with IOE&IT executive editor Will Barns-Graham as host

Encompassing the new Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) rules affecting imports in January, through to the Windsor Framework entering full force at the year’s end, the session will cover everything businesses need to know to continue trading with the EU.

IOE&IT at UNCTAD eWeek: IOE&IT’s director general Marco Forgione will be chairing a panel on e-commerce inclusivity at this year’s UNCTAD eWeek.

Organised by DBT and Shopify, Thursday’s (7 December) panel will also consider the role public private partnerships (PPP) can play in furthering e-commerce engagement by SME’s.

Addressing the progress of the E-Commerce Trade Commission – a joint venture by IOE&IT, DBT and industry giants ranging from Shopify to Amazon - speakers will analyse the benefits of combining government, business and third sector expertise to support more SMEs to trade.

Mercosur leaders’ summit: Also on Thursday, representatives from Mercosur nations will be meeting in Rio de Janeiro for the final time during Brazil’s presidency of the bloc.

It was hoped the gathering might clinch an EU trade deal, however events from the past week make that look increasingly unlikely.

At COP28, French president Emmanuel Macron cast doubt over the prospects of the deal being finalised when he highlighted the conflict between the draft agreement and the EU’s new Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). Fears around the deal have not been helped subsequent cancellation of EU trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis’ visit to the event.

Politico reports that Argentina has left the decision to incoming president Javier Milei, the libertarian outsider who shocked the world with his election victory last month. Milei has described Mercosur as a “phenomenal failure” that “creates trade distortions and hurts its members”.

Other dates in the diary:

Monday – Resolution Foundation Economy 2030 Inquiry report launch 

Tuesday – UK services PMI released

Wednesday – UK construction PMI and OECD CPI released

Thursday – EU-China Summit 

Friday – UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index released

Saturday – G7 interior ministers meeting 

Sunday – Nobel Prize ceremonies held