Sand in the wheels

The Swedish government is very much committed to free and fair world trade. Trade is a forceful tool for creating economic growth, promoting employment and reducing poverty. Trade was also a key factor in transforming Sweden into a modern welfare state.

Recently we organized a seminar at the Swedish residence in London that focused on how protectionism hinders export-led growth for the world’s poorest countries. A study by Simon Evenett and Johannes Fritz was the starting point for the discussions. The study points at the fact that there has been an increase in protectionism (especially among G20) after the financial crisis 2008-9. It is worth noting that out of the 494 protectionist measures imposed, the EU-member states were responsible for 64 of them.

We were very pleased to have Professor Evenett as a speaker. He has unique insights into trade policy and has made outstanding contributions to international debate from his base at the University of St. Gallen. He also leads the independent organisation Global Trade Alert.

The panel discussion that followed Evenett’s speech was moderated by Paul Walters, Deputy Director at the Trade Policy Unit at the Department for International Development. The panel included Sheila Page, Senior research associate at Overseas Development Institute, David Lubin, Head of Emerging markets at Citi group and Professor Simon Evenett.

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