Roundtable discussion explores ‘major shifts and new dynamics’ in global trade

Roundtable discussion explores ‘major shifts and new dynamics’ in global trade


Oliver White, Business and Policy Intern

Growth opportunities in Asia, the future of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the economic impact of protectionism were all explored at Asia House today during a roundtable discussion featuring leading figures from business, government and academia.

‘Asian Trade Flows: Major Shifts and New Dynamics’ brought together members of the business and diplomatic communities to discuss the outlook for global economic growth amid a backdrop of US-China trade tensions and increasing strain on the multilateral system.

Speakers included Simon Cooper, Chief Executive, Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, who assessed the potential for growth in Asia. He also led a discussion on the international leadership role China could play via projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative.

However, the challenges facing the global trade order were also discussed, with Dr Lorand Bartels from Linklaters exploring the dynamics between the US and China, and the relevance of the WTO in their increasingly-fractious relations.

The economic impact of such tensions, and the protectionist policies driving them, was considered by Giammario Impullitti, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Nottingham, who drew on modern historical parallels to predict the short and long-term consequences.

Delegates at the roundtable – held in partnership with Standard Chartered – also heard from John Alty, Director General of Trade Policy in the UK’s Department of International Trade, who shared insights on the UK trade agreements currently being pursued.

Chaired by Charlie Humphreys, Director of Corporate Affairs at Asia House, the roundtable provided illuminating insights to Asia House corporate members and the wider Asia House network on the current state of global trade.

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