We are witnessing the transition to a new order. New national interests, new trading routes, new products and services are all emerging. How best to ensure the transfer of goods and the future development of trade in this environment will be key to our collective success. However several key questions remain as yet unanswered.
- Globalisation is lifting millions out of poverty but the cost to the environment has been huge and who knows the full impact?
- Climate change can no longer be ignored. Will the increasingly visible impacts cause countries and companies to really adopt new approaches? While many are now looking at improving the resilience of their facilities to more extreme weather, how many will also seek to pre-emptively adapt to the new world of 4C of global warming including rising sea levels, more variable weather and more extreme temperatures?
- Furthermore, as the global workforce becomes more mobile, how will organisations attract and retain top talent and how will governments ensure they provide them with the relevant education that will allow economies to thrive?
- Finally how can we nurture innovation and encourage the free flow of ideas and products in an increasingly interconnected world?
It is very difficult to predict what the future will hold – at best we can anticipate it. What we know however, is that no one body will be able to influence all the factors which contribute to free and open trade. But, for organisations that are committed to facilitating economic growth, creating an environment that can adapt to change and improve quality of life for the majority without undue damage to the planet has to be the objective.