Concerns over sustainability in international trade are not new.
In 1993, when the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economic leaders first met on Blake Island, USA, they emphasised: “Our environment is improved as we protect the quality of our air, water and green spaces and manage our energy resources and renewable resources to ensure sustainable growth and provide a more secure future for our people.”
In 1995, when the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was established, it had a clear mandate of ensuring that expansion of trade in goods and services would be in accordance with the objective of sustainable development.
More recently, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have provided the impetus for focus on sustainable and inclusive economic growth. As we witness the effects of climate change at our very doorstep, we must realise that our commitments towards SDGs and Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) will have to go beyond the rhetoric and the aspirational. Natural disasters have caused disruptions to supply and value chains, with a knock-on effect on businesses’ bottom line.
At a more granular level, compliance with international and multilateral laws, regulations, principles, guidelines or disciplines are expected of businesses, especially export-oriented ones. There is also more scrutiny of compliance along the whole value and supply chains. Thus focus on sustainability is not just a nice-to-consider, or good for branding, but is increasingly a must-do.
This program is intended to provide an opportunity for renewed discussion on trade and the environment, and its continued relevance for businesses, specifically those involved in, or are linked to, international trade in goods and/or services.
At the end of the program, participants will be able to:
- Have a better appreciation of “sustainability.” In the broader context it is not primarily about environmental sustainability but also inclusive economic growth;
- Appreciate that the focus on sustainability and inclusiveness makes business sense;
- Draw lessons from the cases presented and chart the appropriate course of action for their companies.
Who Should Attend?
- Board of Directors
- Senior management
- Anyone else who might find this program useful.