Trade in the New Normal

Date And Time

Thu, 15 October 2020

09:00 – 12:00 SAST

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COVID-19 wreaked havoc on global trade. Leading trade experts will offer insights on where global trade is going and AfCFTA developments.

About this Event

Welcome and introductions: Prof Wilma Viviers

Research professor in the TRADE (Trade and Development) research entity and holder of the WTO Chair at the North-West University, South Africa

Keynote speaker: Dr Robert Koopman

Chief Economist, Director of the Economic Research and Statistics Division and head of a special WTO coronavirus taskforce

Global trade in 2020 ‒ Great uncertainty and potential realignment

As the WTO tracks global trade flows through 2020, we see major impacts on trade, with extraordinary levels of uncertainty. Unusual economic forces and tensions, from the global health pandemic to trade conflicts, have driven both commercial and policy risks to new heights. How countries respond to these forces will have significant, long-term effects on the composition and geographical distribution of trade.

Robert will share his views on where global trade is going during this unprecedented time in the world’s history and why all countries need to adapt to a very different, post-COVID landscape.

Focus on Africa

Speaker: Mr Komi Tsowou

Economist, Africa and Least-Developed Countries Division, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

AfCFTA – The implications for Africa

Komi will share his perspectives on the current realities facing the African Continental Free Trade Area in the ‘new normal’. He will also offer some insights on the way forward, especially how the AfCFTA can build more resilient African economies in the post-COVID-19 era.

Speaker: Mr John Stuart

Economist, policy analyst and an associate of the Trade Law Centre (tralac) in Stellenbosch, South Africa

Digital trade – Assessing the opportunity for Africa

John will provide insights into the state of digital trade in Africa and its untapped potential against the backdrop of a serious digital divide on the continent. He will also highlight how business leaders and policy makers can best prepare for the unfolding opportunities and challenges.

TRADE-DSM (Decision Support Model)

Speaker: Mr Martin Cameron

Managing director and quantitative economist, Trade Research Advisory (a spin-out company of the North-West University)

Martin will share the latest developments surrounding the TRADE-DSM methodology and software platform, which were developed by the North-West University’s TRADE research entity and Trade Research Advisory. He will also discuss some of the planned methodological refinements to the TRADE-DSM.

Summary and closure

Speaker: Prof Raymond Parsons

Professor at the NWU Business School, Chairman of the Business School’s Advisory Board and recognised expert on developments in the South African economy and its implications for businesses and policy makers

Raymond will summarise the key points raised in the webinar and conclude with some thoughts on the way ahead.

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