ITC Attendance Report: World Trade Symposium in London

The International Trade Council - a peak-body, non-profit, international chamber of commerce. Dedicating to assisting businesses overcome technical barriers to trade, expand into new markets and connect with other businesses

Nikole Read (ITC Chairperson for Canada) together with Lord John Taylor, Baron of Warwick (member of the House of Lords in the Parliament of the United Kingdom and ITC Representative to the World Trade Symposium)

Report by Nikole Read, ITC Chairperson for Canada

I was delighted to take a part in the World Trade Symposium in London accompanied by my colleague  Lord John Taylor of Warwick . The World Trade Symposium held in in London on 6-7 June 2017 fulfilled its purpose for a highly interactive, action-oriented C-Level dialogue on the major themes that will shape the future direction of international trade. From 28 speakers to interactive table discussions, this event was filled with experts, industry leaders and trade organizations that all came together to discuss direction of international trade. This event brought discussions on how trade can be transformed to drive financial inclusion through globalization and digitization. Over the two days we have seen the guest speakers discussing topics on One Belt, One Road Road Initiative (BRI), block-chain technologies, supply chain and SME finance. This highly interactive symposium was further enhanced by working groups to investigate the issues and opportunities for global trade and explore the potential to transform trade with digital at its core – with a vision of “improving people’s” lives. The four initiatives included:

Supporting the development of sustainable trade –The group explored the potential to apply similar technology to monitor the ethical provenance of goods in support of sustainable trade within a circular economy.

Widening inclusion in global trade for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) – To open up an access to trade finance for SMEs, helping to close today’s $1.6 trillion global trade finance funding gap.

Driving global adoption of Legal Entity Identifiers (LEIs) –The objective was to improve transparency, support trade finance digitalisation and streamline onboarding and risk management along global financial supply chains in order to underpin more inclusive trade and SME finance.

Increasing the level of digitisation of trade through education and encouraging adoption – To enhance awareness of the potential of new technologies such as block-chain and distributed ledger across the different parts of the trade ecosystem, from producers to collateral managers to shipping firms, as well as banks, governments and non-governmental organizations.