Free Trade Forum: Opportunities and Challenges for the New Trade Order
On December 14th, the Stockholm Free World Forum (SFWF), in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, hosted the conference Free Trade Forum: Opportunities and Challenges for the New Trade Order at the Mediterranean Museum in central Stockholm.
With protectionism on the rise, concerns about political consequences about the perceived negative effects of globalization, and an ongoing US-China trade war, the future of the global trading order is uncertain. In the face of these risks, the gathering sought to increase understanding of these risks and charting possible policy solutions.
After introductory remarks by Gunnar Hökmark, Chairman of SFWF, the conference started of with its first panel discussion, themed “The state of global free trade”. Moderated by SFWF’s incoming Acting Director Oscar Jonsson, the panel included Christofer Fjellner (Member of the European Parliament), Karin Svanborg-Sjövall (head of the think tank Timbro) and Carl B. Hamilton (trade advisor to the European Commission, former member of the Swedish parliament).
Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade, held the conference’s key note speech about the state of the European trade agenda. After the speech, SFWF’s Director Katarina Tracz moderated a discussion and Q&A session with the commissioner.
The second and final panel discussion featured Fredrik Erixon (head of European Centre for International Political Economy), Johan Britz (Swedish Confederation of Enterprises), Mikael Odenberg (former Swedish minister of defense) and Lars Trägårdh (professor of history at Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College). Anna Wieslander (Atlantic Council) moderated the talk, which centered around the politics of trade and public opinion.
Wrapping up the conference, Katarina Tracz gave final remarks summarizing the respective sessions and issues that will be of continued relevance in the area of global trade.
Each session can be viewed on SFWF’s YouTube channel.