The Forum, with the overall theme of “globalization and inclusive growth”, will also be an occasion for the unveiling of the results of the first year of activity of the ICC Research Foundation. The project results to be presented and discussed by all participants address issues including the impact of the economic crisis on trade and employment, the future of the market economy, and sustainable economic growth.
Dr Marc Bachetta, senior economist at the World Trade Organization will present results of a “expert” workshop on trade and employment, carried out jointly by WTO and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
There is a poor understanding, even among academic researchers, about the links between international trade and jobs. The results of the initial project have singled out specific issues which are priorities for research on global trade and employment. The ultimate aim is not only a better understanding of how trade and employment interact in the global economy, but the development, based on research and analysis, of policies which can make this interaction more effective in spreading the benefits of trade.
Professor Joseph Bower of the Harvard Business School (HBS) is presenting results of a project on the future of the market economy. The sense that is abroad in the world of having come to a turn in the road for the global economy, includes serious questions about the market economy. These doubts crystallize around the concept of globalization, seen as the vehicle for the spread of open markets and trade.
The project led by Professor Bower examines the future of market capitalism in the context of the current financial and economic crisis. The focus is on the implications for business of the regulatory, financial and political developments which are likely to emerge as governments and multilateral organizations implement measures to deal with the crisis and its aftermath.
The results of the project include:
- An “Action Agenda” developed with leaders in business, academia and from multilateral organizations,
- How business enterprises can contribute to the resolution of the crucial issue of inequality in sharing the benefits of the market economy, across societies and regions of the world,
- How multilateral institutions can be strengthened to facilitate global trade and to deal with external threats to the system.
Professor Jean-Pierre Lehmann, of the IMD business school in Lausanne, founding Director of the Evian Group, is presenting results of a project on sustainable growth. The fight against poverty and the management of climate change are two of the great challenges of the 21st century: fail on one and we will have failed on the other, thereby feeding into geopolitical tensions and sources of conflict. The Evian Group project examines sustainable growth from a number of perspectives. What is the contribution trade can make to quality growth, equity and sustainable development: where would we like to be ten years from now? Are there areas in which trade policy goes counter to these objectives? How can lagging regions follow the income performances of East Asia, India and Brazil? How can trade assist in reaching a global deal to tackling climate change?
The project results include:
- A publication that will be a reference for international business in the context of the emerging global trade regime and its probable evolution over the next ten years;
- A prospective look at developments and policy options over the next ten years in the areas of global trade, economic power shifts, inclusive and sustainable growth, business leadership
The results of the WTO-ILO workshop on trade and employment referred to above in the story about ICC India, also includes a follow-up “gathering of experts” on trade and employment which will be held at the ILO in mid-December, 2009. The event, funded and hosted by the ILO and the European Community, will provide further input into understanding the links between global trade and employment. The combined results from both workshops will serve as input in determining future research which could be supported by the Foundation on trade and employment.