Session Summary: Global Trade - Optimism Restored?

Cecilia Malmström, Assar Gabrielsson Professor, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg (virtually)

Huiyao (Henry) Wang, Founder and President, Center for China and Globalization, Beijing (virtually)

Susan Danger, Chief Executive Officer, American Chamber of Commerce to the EU, Brussels (virtually)

Wilhelm Molterer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, GLOBSEC, Vienna Led by: Sasha Vakulina, Business Editor, Euronews, Lyon 

Led by: Sasha Vakulina, Business Editor, Euron

The session started by getting panellists’ perspective on the key question: has optimism been restored? The panellists agreed that there are positive signs coming out from the EU-US Summit happening at the moment on addressing some of the key ‘irritants’ of trade cooperation, such as aircraft subsidies, tariffs on steel and aluminium as well as standards on cyber technology and green and emerging technologies. Despite a lot of reasons for optimism, restoring trade is urgent and of utmost importance to the recovery path.  

The session then moved on to discuss the trade relations with China considering the recent statements coming out of the G7 summit which expressed scepticism and wariness of China’s growing influence. Huiyao Wang, the Founder and President of the Center for China and Globalization highlighted that the global economy is intertwined and focus on trade needs to be prioritised over geopolitical issues. 

The focus needs to be on finding a balance between the three major players.