Global Trade

Italy joins China’s Belt and Road Initiative

By | Belt and Road, Global Trade

What does it mean for Italy to become the first member of the ‘Group of Seven’ most powerful nations to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)?

At the heart of it, the BRI is an initiative to speed Chinese goods to markets and involves major infrastructure projects along what China has termed the “New Silk Road”. 

After recent events in Italy such as the collapse of the Genoa bridge in August which killed dozens of people, Italy’s crumbling infrastructure has come to the forefront as a political issue for the first time in decades. The BRI offers a potential flood of investment and greater access to Chinese markets and raw materials.

For China, the “made in Italy” label carries a reputation for quality worldwide, and is legally protected for products items processed “mainly” in Italy. 

Agreements that foster infrastructure development for rapid trade will ultimately benefit consumers, and will attract criticism from political parties.

WTO workshops new digital trade rules

By | Digital Trade, Digital Transformation, Global Trade

Earlier this year, at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Switzerland, 76 members of the World Trade Organisation agreed to begin negotiations new international rules in digital trade.

This is a step towards updating international trade rules that we sorely need.

It’s no doubt that a multilateral trading system is crucial in helping reduce barriers, remove red tape and increase global trade, as noted by the Australian Minister for trade, tourism and investment, Simon Birmingham.

While the 76 WTO members issued a joint statement confirming their intention to begin WTO negotiations, what we in the global trade community would like to see is action.

Already there are multiple systems, formats and processes. A unified process and set of rules would create efficiencies, reduce operating costs and accelerate global trade. A global trade digital transformation is what we’d really like to see. We’re looking forward to hearing more about this from the WTO in the coming future.