The COVID-19 pandemic and the prospect of increasingly frequent and more intense natural and man-made disasters raise important questions about the resilience of the global economy to such shocks. The World Trade Report 2021 (WTR21) explores the role of trade, trade policy and international cooperation in building and supporting economic resilience. Please join us on Tuesday 16 November at the online launch of the WTR21, where the WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will introduce the publication followed by the presentation of the main findings of the report by the coordinators of the WTR21. They will be joined by expert panelists for a discussion moderated by Robert Koopman, WTO Chief Economist.
As Chief Executive Officer of an organization with a mission of growing trade, I often get asked a multitude of questions pertaining to the state of global commerce. The inquiries always revolve around the latest headline out of one country or another, or the most recent election, or just my take on the state of economic cooperation around the world.
This may seem selfish, or like we don’t care about the news. But this is not the case. Far from it. It is because the common thread that runs through our association of 300-plus members in nearly 100 countries, is stronger and more consequential than any one lurch in the ever-changing, seesawing nature of trade policy. Because our members often play a critical role in the local, regional and national economies where they are based, the WTCA and its membership roster are frequently in a position to bridge the divides that form from one administration to the next. Our relationships with one another are the bedrock of our organization. This network empowers each of us to continue to enrich our local communities, regardless of the coming or receding political storms.
Being a global organization made up of businesses as diverse as our members comes with challenges, for certain. But being able to call on fellow World Trade Centers from Bogota to Belfast, and Boston to Beijing, in a climate that often feels unstable, is the true value of WTCA Membership. And it is why now, more than ever, relationships matter.
Scott Ferguson is Chief Executive Officer of the World Trade Centers Association.