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Launch of the Hinrich-IMD Sustainable Trade Index 2022

Published 15 November 2022

Long-term economic growth and value creation must be built on the foundation of sustainable global trade. Watch the webinar launch of the Hinrich-IMD Sustainable Trade Index (STI) to hear experts discuss this year’s findings.

The index measures how effectively 30 major trading economies are geared for long-term economic growth, environmental protection, and societal development across 70 indicators.

Besides how much they trade, how well do economies trade? What are the policy implications of the Sustainability Trade Index? In the webinar launching the STI 2022, experts from the Hinrich Foundation and IMD discuss key findings from the index and its policy implications.

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Christos Cabolis, Chief Economist at IMD World Competitiveness Centre noted that economies that do well under the environmental pillar have low levels of carbon emissions, participate actively in international environmental agreements, and score well in areas such as air and water pollution. Under the societal pillar, top-performing economies have good labor standards, and strong healthcare systems and their citizens tend to support trade expansion. Economies that score well under the economic pillar tend to possess strong trade infrastructure, technological infrastructure, and have numerous trading partners.

Stephen Olson, Senior Research Fellow at Hinrich Foundation observed that the increasing tariff and non-tariff barriers are a worrying trend reflective of the current rules-based international system. Addressing the indicator of modern-day slavery under the societal pillar of the Index, Olson noted that large, developed economies are complicit in importing products from countries that rely on modern-day slavery, stoking demand around the world. Acknowledging the externalities that brought focus to sustainable trade, Olson warns that economies must avoid backsliding into unsustainable practices once the storm passes.

The session, moderated by Chuin Wei Yap, Program Director, International Trade Research, Hinrich Foundation, concluded with a Q&A for the panel of experts. The discussion focused on situating the STI in conversation with COP27, the implications of Brexit on trade between the UK and the EU, and ways to fine-tune the index for 2023.

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