The London Conference

Break-Out Sessions - Group One: Fear the Future? What’s Next for International Trade

Monday 23 October, 1345 – 1500


Over the last few decades, the rise of globalization and international trade has boosted growth throughout the world and lifted hundreds of millions into an emerging if fragile middle class. However, foreign competition has devastated many communities across the developed world, leading to a significant backlash against trade and increasing support for protectionism. Policy-makers in the West are rethinking their trade, investment and industrial policies to address concerns about the future of jobs, living standards and communities. This will inevitably affect prospects for current and future trade agreements across the world.

What would the implications of a retreat from trade be on global growth? To what extent are emerging economies still dependent on an export- and investment-led growth model? Or will the entire trade debate be eclipsed by advances in automation and artificial intelligence over the next several years?



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