The International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD) was officially inaugurated on May 1, 2002, during the Mid-Term Review Conference of UNCTAD X, hosted by the Thai Government. ITD is now a government entity operating as a public organization affiliated with the Ministry of Commerce, Thailand. With the mission of being a center of research and training on international trade and investment issues, ITD regularly works with the Royal Thai Government, UNCTAD, other international organizations and institutes. As one of our hi-lighted academic activities, ITD is honored to announce our annual Southeast Asia Trade and Development Forum 2023 on the theme of “Conquering the Polycrisis Challenges” which is being held on September, 6th 2023.
Our world has recently faced a period of significant global change and crisis. Not only, an acceleration of climate change, extreme weather events and environmental degradation, but we are living in a middle of a global pandemic, a war in Europe, geo-political tensions, high inflation and a cost-of-living crisis, energy supply and trade disruption, and food insecurity. These multiple and overlapping crises is what we define its term as “polycrisis” (a new global buzzword). The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2023 uses the term, to explain how, “present and future risks can also interact with each other to form a ‘polycrisis’ – a cluster of related global risks with compounding effects, such that the overall impact exceeds the sum of each part”. These interconnected challenges and crises are not being experienced by countries in isolation, but they are problems of the global commons, which cannot be solved by individual countries.
In light of the complex and interconnected challenges facing the global and regional economy, Southeast Asia (SEA) Trade and Development Forum aims to facilitate a constructive discussion on the impact of multiple crises on international trade and explore potential strategies. During this forum, experts, policymakers, and stakeholders from SEA come together to share insights, exchange ideas, and develop collaborative approaches to mitigate the adverse effects of the polycrisis on international trade. The key areas of focus include:
- Trade Resilience: Assessing the vulnerabilities and risks associated with the polycrisis and exploring ways to enhance the resilience of global trade systems. This involves discussing mechanisms to diversify supply chains, strengthen digital infrastructure, and promote inclusive trade policies.
- Multilateral Cooperation: Recognizing the importance of international cooperation and the role of multilateral organizations in addressing the polycrisis. Speakers discuss ways to strengthen global governance, enhance coordination among nations, and reinforce the rules-based trading system.
- Sustainable Trade: Exploring the intersection between the polycrisis and sustainability goals, focusing on climate change. Discussions revolve around promoting sustainable trade practices, green technologies, and inclusive economic growth.
- Digital Transformation: Examining the role of digitalization in navigating the polycrisis and unlocking new trade opportunities. Panelists discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with the use digital technologies.
The outcomes of the forum on Polycrisis would ideally include the formulation of policy recommendations, the establishment of collaborative initiatives, and the development of actionable strategies to address the challenges posed by the polycrisis. These outcomes then would serve as a guideline for governments, organizations, and stakeholders in navigating the complexities of international trade amidst multiple crises.
Purpose of the Forum
- To exchange information, perspectives, visions, and experiences on businesses, international trade and investments with key experts from public and private entities, international organizations, and other stakeholders in the field of business, international trade and investment.
- To acquire concept, thoughts, and economic policy framework for Southeast Asia region
- To propose policies and actions that will support better trade and business environment for Southeast Asia region and deliver relevant policy recommendations for all government entities in the region.
- To strengthen knowledge for promoting new economy that align with Bio-Circular-Green Economic Model (BCG Model) for the region.
- To promote and strengthen new economic system that suits with Sustainable Development Goals such as SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), and SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities)