Brazilian alumni in Sao Paolo launched the Chevening Legal and Human Rights Network on 2 May 2016. The network is the vision of alumnus Eduardo Paranhos, Senior Legal Director of HP, who studied Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) through a Chevening Scholarship 15 years ago. It aims to bring together […]
The challenge of our international economic world
On 3 November at the British Embassy in Mexico City, a fascinating conference took place titled Latest trends in international trade and its effects on the policies of the countries. Mexico’s Current stance: Globalization vs Protectionism. The Mexican Chevening Alumni Association (MCAA) partnered with the LSE Mexican Alumni Association, PricewaterhouseCoopers Mexico (PwC), and the UK Alumni Association Mexico to deliver this conference. They brought together high profile experts on international trade to debate what is a hot international topic at the moment.
Under the guidance of moderator Dr Antonio Herrera, Vice President of MCAA, the experts shared their opinions with attendees from both the private and public sectors. It was a fully attended event, due to the tantalising prospect of engaging in such high level thought leadership.
Beatriz Leycegui Gardoqui, a partner at SAI Law & Economics, with previous experience in government, started the proceedings with her argument that ‘globalisation is unstoppable.’ Why? In her opinion, due to two revolutions that have transformed international trade: the revolution in information technologies (20th century) and the digital revolution (21st century).
But the argument did not ignore the challenges of globalisation considering that it has demonstrated being responsible for making the rich richer while making the non-rich poorer.
A later speaker, Jose Luis Roberto Zapata Barradas, Director-General for Regional and Multilateral Affairs of the Secretariat of Economy, spoke strongly against protectionism. Meaning ‘any protectionist measures, including tariffs, domestic subsidies to exporters, and non-tariff barriers which restrict imports in certain strategic areas.’ His position on international trade was clear: he is against any public policy which implies protectionism. He made a strong case that protectionist practices do not in fact enhance the productivity of the local market, but damage manufacturing processes, and hold back innovation.
Giving a differing view, Gerardo Vazquez Gomez, a senior Manager at PwC said ‘I am for the globalisation, yet the protectionism policies should be applied to assure certain national key areas to protect them from unfair business practices.’ To illustrate, Vazquez highlighted metallurgy and agriculture as examples of industries which should be sheltered by the Mexican government due to the high impact they have on the Mexican economy.
There were some final words from Olivier Evans, Deputy Head of Mission and Political Counsellor at the British Embassy in Mexico City rounding up this topic. He explained that the current social movements which result in results like Brexit or the Trump success, are caused by continued weaknesses in the liberal system, especially, globalisation. He concluded that the digital century and democracy bring challenges.
In the end, the biggest challenge is how to adapt to the new reality of this century. ‘The key is to not be afraid of changes,’ he stated.
For a more in depth summary of the conference, take a look at the readout.
The Chevening Alumni Association of Ghana was officially launched on 10 February 2016. Sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth through the Chevening Alumni Programme Fund (CAPF) and hosted by the British High Commissioner to Ghana, HE Jon Benjamin, the association launch sought to bring together alumni of the Chevening programme since its inception in 1983, and to […]
Georgian Chevening Alumni met at a castle retreat in October 2015 outside Tbilisi to celebrate 20 years of the Chevening scheme in Georgia. Hosted by Alexandra Hall Hall, the UK ambassador, the gathering also marked 20 years of the UK Embassy being in Georgia. Two former UK ambassadors joined the group, including Stephen Nash who […]