This article was published before we became the Chartered Institute of Export & International Trade on 10 July 2024, and this is reflected in references to our old brand and name. For more information about us becoming Chartered, visit our dedicated webpage on the change here.

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Although ‘Blue Monday’ is typically associated with a post-Christmas lull and a fading of New Year vigour, the week is likely to be an active one for international trade.

The Red Sea crisis is likely to dominate headlines across the week, as the world of trade grapples with the supply chain disruptions caused by Houthi attacks on shipping.

However, we’re also keeping an eye on news from Davos and the US, as well as eagerly anticipating the first Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) webinars of the year.

Davos: The annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, starts this week. Global leaders from the political, economic and social sectors are meeting to discuss "transparency, consistency and accountability" in the global economy.

The UK’s chancellor Jeremy Hunt and shadow chancellor Rachael Reeves will be in attendance, although prime minister Rishi Sunak is giving it a miss this year.

Others who will be making the trip to Switzerland include business leaders like Open AI’s Sam Altman, and national leaders like Israeli president Isaac Herzog, Lebanese PM Najib Mikati and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

You can read more about what to expect from Davos this year here.

Trade webinars: IOE&IT is opening its 2024 webinar programme with a focus on the opportunities and challenges faced by the UK’s food and drink sector.

Tomorrow (16 January), food and drink manufacturers will get to hear from industry experts on what 2024 has in store for their sector, including the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM), the UK’s trade deals and the impact of global shipping crises on supply chains. You can register for free here.

Then on Thursday (18 January), the Lunchtime Learning programme returns with a member-exclusive session on the new sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) rules that are due to come in on 31 January under BTOM. IOE&IT members can sign up here.

Parliament: Aside from any updates on the Red Sea, parliament has a few trade-focussed sessions this week.

  • Tuesday: The House of Lords will consider the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Bill
  • Wednesday: The Windsor Framework Sub-Committee will hear oral evidence on the Veterinary Medicines
  • Friday: Labour MP Stella Casey is slated to ask a question on Health Certificate Requirements under BTOM, specifically how this might affect SMEs

US primaries: The US political season finally kicks off today (15 January) as Iowa hosts the Republican caucuses. Former president Donald Trump is seeking a rematch with president Joe Biden and is heavily favoured to be nominated by his party, but keep an eye out for whether Nikki Haley or Ron DeSantis can eke out a strong second place.

Other dates for the diary

Monday: UK PM Sunak to update MPs on Red Sea crisis and the UK’s strikes on Houthi rebels.

Tuesday: Office for National Statistics releases the UK’s Employment and wage statistics

Wednesday: EU inflation numbers, China’s GDP and OPEC’s monthly oil market report all released

Thursday: British Academy Film Awards shortlist released

Friday: The International Energy Agency releases its own monthly oil market report. Also, the beginning of the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement summit

Saturday: One year to go until the next US president is inaugurated

Sunday: Genocide Memorial Day