Conference – Free Trade Forum

On the 14th of December, Stockholm Free World Forum, together with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, organized the conference Free Trade Forum at Medelhavsmuséet.

For several decades the international free trade has increased and contributed to a period of unprecedented increase of global welfare. However, in the political situation of today with growing protectionism, anxiety over political instability and an ongoing trade war between the China and the US, which causes doubts about the status of free trade.

Are we moving towards of drawn-out conflicts of trade or can domestic and intergovernmental tensions be avoided? What role will EU have in the new international order of trade? And how do we cherish the progress that the liberalized trade has meant for both wealth and international law?

These were some questions that were discussed during the conference. The event was held in Swedish.

Gunnar Hökmark, the president of Stockholm Free World Forum, welcomed everybody and introduced Oscar Jonsson, approaching Acting director at Free World Forum and moderator of the afternoon’s first panel discussion The state of international trade: Successful results and big challenges where Carl B. Hamilton, special advisor for EU:s trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström; Christoffer Fjellner, EU parliamentarian (M) since 2004 and commissioner in the European Parliament’s committee for international trade and Karin Svanborg-Sjövall, Chief executive at Timbro since the fall of 2014, took part. See the full panel discussion here (part 1) and here (part 2).

The second point of the program was a speech from EU:s trade commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, on the theme Europe and the future of free trade, with a following conversation with the director of  Stockholm Free World Forum, Katarina Tracz. Watch the speech and discussion here (part 1) and here (part 2).

The conference finished with a panel discussion on the theme Politics and formation of opinion for the future of free trade. Anna Wieslander, Northern Europe director at Atlantic Council, moderated the discussion where Fredrik Erixon, director at the think-tank European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE); Johan Britz, director for policy and influence at Svenskt Näringsliv; Lars Trädgårdh, professor in history at Ersta Sköndal Bräcke academy and Mikael Odenberg, president at Karolinska Institutet consistory (board) and former minister of defence, took part. Watch the panel discussion in full here (part 1) and here (part 2).

EU:s trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström speaks with Stockholm Free World Forum’s director Katarina Tracz