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CEOs to World Leaders: Now is the Time for Trade Reform

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Nearly 30 CEOs and Chairpersons from some of the world’s biggest companies called on governments to work through geopolitical tensions, re-engage on trade reform and refrain from protectionism.

This call to action comes at a time of significant geopolitical tensions and challenging economic dynamics. Uniquely, it brings together a diverse group of companies representing 17 countries across all five continents.

The signatories are from the following 12 sectors: retail, e-commerce, food and beverage, payments, financial sector, investors, telecommunications, chemicals, logistics, supply chain and transport, professional services, energy and commodities.

Convened by the World Economic Forum’s Trade and Investment community, business leaders called for higher global ambition for trade cooperation, including at the upcoming WTO Ministerial Meeting.

“Business leaders are sending clear signals to policy makers that change is both necessary and achievable,” said Borge Brende, President, World Economic Forum. “In this Trade for Tomorrow statement, leaders highlight the potential of trade and investment for recovery and development. They call for quick progress on health, digital, investment and environmental matters, and note that business can help with implementing reforms.”

According to a recent Ipsos-World Economic Forum survey, 75% of the global public supports expanding trade, but only half said they thought globalization was good for their country, a drop of 10 percentage points since 2019. This ambiguity reveals belief in the potential of trade for improving lives but deep unease over its current directions.

The call to action also highlights a need for deeper dialogue on trade system governance and building a level playing field, as societies reflect on what they seek from trade.

The Forum’s Future of Trade and Investment Platform brings together leaders from business, government and civil society to shape the future of trade and global economic interdependence. As a neutral space, it creates the opportunity for frank dialogue around some of the most challenging issues facing the system.

Ahead of the call to action, the community also released reports on Trade and Climate Action and Trade and Social Justice to guide leaders on crucial next steps to shape a more inclusive and sustainable future.

The full text of the Call to Action:

Trade for Tomorrow

A call to action to make trade work for all

We believe trade and investment support human development and that a global recovery can be built upon a trade recovery. Governments must creatively re-engage on trade reform and refrain from protectionism.

Trade and investment empower people to exchange goods and services, find rewarding employment, enjoy consumer benefits and grow successful businesses. Trade and investment must support development and inclusion.

Through jointly upholding environmental and social standards, trade cooperation should prevent a race to the bottom and avoid harmful distortions to markets for goods and services.

Trade cooperation can improve outcomes for underrepresented members of society, including women and minorities.

It should be complemented by broader policies that support equitable outcomes, domestically and internationally, recognizing that trade and investment shocks have significant effects on livelihoods.

This includes cooperation on tax and competition regulation as well as migration and labour conditions.

International public-private cooperation should foster a resilient, efficient and inclusive trading system, building stable and coherent processes, supported by robust aid-for-trade technical assistance and capacity-building.

We call upon leaders to, by the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2021:

1. Strengthen healthcare access by lowering tariff and administrative barriers to trade in inputs and final products, facilitating global manufacturing investment, improving supply chain transparency, removing export restraints, and discussing the relationship between intellectual property rights and access to lifesaving technologies;

2. Conclude a meaningful electronic commerce agreement that improves access and interoperability, enables safe and efficient digital trade and data flows, promotes openness and trust, and addresses market access issues. Also, abstain from customs duties on electronic transmissions;

3. Conclude a meaningful investment facilitation for development agreement that improves transparency and predictability, streamlines administrative procedures, reduces disputes and enhances sustainable investment;

4. Advance meaningful environmental agreements, delivering a robust agreement on fisheries subsidies and reducing siloes between trade, environment and development policymaking by aligning trade action with COP26 outcomes;

5. Effectively implement and monitor commitments, employing public-private cooperation. In so doing, pay special attention to the needs of women, MSMEs and developing countries and, where current commitments are insufficient, advance new agreements to broaden access to the benefits of trade

Further, we urge leaders to engage in open and ambitious dialogue on:

6. Trade system reforms, particularly with regards to the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, the role of the WTO in a diverse trade architecture and the functions of the secretariat;

7. Resolving level-playing-field concerns with respect to subsidies, state-owned enterprises, trade remedies, government procurement and domestic regulation across industrial, agriculture and service sectors.

Signatories

  • Krishan N. Balendra, Chairman, John Keells Holdings Plc
  • Ajay S. Banga, Executive Chairman, Mastercard
  • Ankiti Bose, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Zilingo Pte Ltd
  • Dolf van den Brink, Chief Executive Officer, HEINEKEN NV
  • Levent Cakiroglu, Chief Executive Officer, Koç Holding
  • Hussain Dawood, Group Chairman, Dawood Hercules Corporation
  • Börje Ekholm, President and Chief Executive Officer, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson
  • Øyvind Eriksen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aker ASA
  • André Esteves, Senior Partner, Banco BTG Pactual SA
  • Jim Fitterling, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dow
  • Fernando Galletti de Queiroz, Chief Executive Officer, Minerva Foods
  • Abdulrahman Al Hatmi, Group Chief Executive, Oman Global Logistics Group SAOC
  • Svein Tore Holsether, President and Chief Executive Officer, Yara International ASA
  • Al Kelly Jr, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Visa Inc.
  • Kutoane Obed Kutoane, Chief Executive Officer, Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa SOC Ltd
  • Fred Lam, Chief Executive Officer, Airport Authority (Hong Kong)
  • Christian Lanng, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman and Co-Founder, Tradeshift
  • Matthew Layton, Global Managing Partner, Clifford Chance LLP
  • Geoff Martha, Chairman & CEO, Medtronic
  • John M. Neill, Chairman and Group Chief Executive, Unipart Group of Companies
  • John Pearson, Chief Executive Officer, DHL Express
  • Noel Quinn, Group Chief Executive, HSBC Holdings Plc
  • Marwan J. Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman, Shurooq
  • Aba Schubert, Chief Executive Officer, Dorae
  • Murat Seitnepesov, Managing Director, Integral Petroleum SA
  • Tarek Sultan Al Essa, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of the Board, Agility, Kuwait
  • Michael Süss, Chairman, OC Oerlikon Management AG
  • Jean-Pascal Tricroire, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Schneider Electric
  • José Viñals, Group Chairman, Standard Chartered Bank
  • Jeremy Weir, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Trafigura Group Pte Ltd

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Finance

How Smart Investing can be a Significant Strategy for Traders

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Despite being one of the biggest sources of passive income, the forex market is still unexplored by many. The main reason is the risk involved. Traders, especially those with little experience, fear losing money because its an unpredictable and uncertain industry. However, the truth is that with smart investing strategies, you can save yourself from losses.

Strategies have always been an essential part of forex trading. Beginners are also advised to go through reviews, strategies, and recommendations from experts. For those who are just getting started, here are some of the strategies that can help in trading and smart investing.

Understand About Trading Styles and Your Goals:

When you decide to set out on a trading journey, the very first thing is to get a clear goal in your mind about the methods you are going to use. Each trading style has a separate risk profile attached to it. Therefore, the right decision is essential to have a successful trading journey.

Maintaining a slow pace

The best key to a successful trading career is consistency. Indeed, all traders have lost money, but if you have a positive edge, you can be at the top in no time. The best way to gain success is to educate yourself and create a trading plan for the future. Sticking to the plan and working on it is what you need to focus on.

Exploring new trading plans

Yes, consistency is important but never be afraid to reevaluate your trading plan if things are not working. The more your experience grows, the better your needs might change. Your plan must reflect your goal. In case your financial situation changes, you need to work with a new plan.

Checking your emotions

Keeping your emotions under control is what you need to look forward to. Never let your emotions do the talking for you. Remember, ‘revenge trading’ rarely ends on a positive note. If you lose a trade, don’t go all in and invest everything in it. Rather, try to stick to your initial plan and maintain the loss over time.

Knowing the market

The exact importance of educating yourself on the Forex market is essential. Try to understand every trend the trade has to follow and take time to study it all. You also need to know what exactly affects the capital before you risk it. This is a future investment that you are focusing on for positive revenue in returns.

Acknowledging your limits

The exact limit that you are willing to risk needs to be acknowledged before using it. The money invested in trade can never be returned after investment. This is why you need to set boundaries for yourself before actually using the capital. Never risk more capital than you can afford.

Knowing where to stop

Try to act upon the orders by maintaining a stop and limit-based order. The last thing you need to do is actually sit back and analyze the market every time. Trailing stops are very useful as it helps to specify the movement of the market in the future. In this case, if you place contingent orders, it will not limit your risks for loss.

Choosing the right trading partner

The right selection of the trading partner is as important as choosing the base capital. The right partner can help you create an influence over proper execution, pricing, and customer satisfaction. Take time to decide the partner and select it according to your need.

Bottom line

The above-detailed steps will help you to be a successful trader and help you towards success. But, remember, trading is an art, and the only way to ace it is by discipline and practice.

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Global ICT Excellence Awards rated highly Moscow for the startups ecosystem development

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The Government of Moscow won the second place among state structures in the International contest Global ICT Excellence Awards in the Startup Ecosystem nomination. The award is given to organizations that have implemented the most successful startup support projects. The Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) won the first place. The winners were announced at the 25th World Congress of Information Technologies WCIT.

The jury of the award highly appreciated the Moscow Government programs for technology entrepreneurship. In particular, the experts rated the activities of the Moscow Innovation Cluster (MIC) aimed at transforming startups into a full-scale innovative business.

The cluster has combined all the main elements of the urban ecosystem for innovators. With its help, they can find partners and investors, organize production, establish cooperation with large companies, industrial, educational and scientific organizations.

Within the MIC framework, 11 intersectoral clusters specializing in developments of artificial intelligence, medicines, motor sports and other fields have been created. More than 10 thousand specialists from different fields participate in these projects alone.

More than 30 thousand organizations from Moscow and 80 more regions of Russia have already joined the Moscow Innovation Cluster. The cluster is supervised by the Moscow Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development, and the City Department of Information Technology is responsible for its digital capabilities.

The programs of the Moscow Innovation Agency were also highly appreciated by the jury. Among them is the Moscow Accelerator project for scaling innovative solutions in promising batches in partnership with leading corporations. In two years, 13 thematic tracks were organized, for participation in which more than 4.8 thousand applications were received. Another major project is a pilot innovation testing program intended for testing ready-made technological products in urban environment. More than 140 sites in 18 branches are available for piloting. At the moment, 110 tests have been completed, 41 more are in the process of testing.

The Global ICT Excellence Awards have been awarded for more than 20 years for the best innovative solutions in the private and public sector aimed at developing information and communication technologies and improving the quality of people’s lives. Its founder is the World Information Technologies and Services Alliance (WITSA). The organization includes more than 80 countries.

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Why financial institutions are banking on sustainability

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Eric Usher’s day planner is filled with meetings with the heads of some of the world’s biggest banks. And while he has years of experience working with the financial industry, his mission isn’t profit. It is to support and challenge banks and other financial institutions to lay the foundation for a more sustainable future.

Usher is the head of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), a partnership between UNEP, banks, insurers and investment companies that has established among the most important sustainability frameworks for the sector. Its aim is to align private money with the UN Sustainable Development Goals that aim to shift our economy to clean energy, eliminate hunger, foster gender equality and achieve more than a dozen other social and environmental targets.

In his role, Usher has worked with financial institutions to put sustainability at the heart of their business strategy.

“If we want to meet global sustainability challenges, we absolutely need the support of the private sector,” said Usher recently. “There just isn’t enough public money out there, especially in the wake of COVID-19, to finance the massive structural changes our societies desperately need.”

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates it will cost $6.9 trillion annually through 2030 to finance the sustainable development goals.

Usher’s comments came just ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties, known as COP26. The gathering came with the planet slipping dangerously behind the goals of 2015’s landmark Paris Agreement and already experiencing the effects of a changing climate. Progress towards the other Sustainable Development Goals has also been uneven.

Origins of a movement

UNEP FI was born out of a group of six banks that met on the sidelines of 1992’s Rio Earth Summit, considered by many as one of the most important environmental gatherings of the last three decades.

Nearly 30 years later, more than 450 financial institutions are members of what is the UN’s largest partnership with the finance industry.

In the past year alone, member banks have given 113 million vulnerable customers access to financial services and advised over 15,000 companies on their climate strategies.

Not only is that work helping people and the planet, it’s also securing the future of financial stability. The burgeoning green economy is creating a host of new investment and lending opportunities. Institutional investors and retail banking customers are increasingly demanding that financial institutions uphold environmental standards. And, perhaps most importantly, a growing number of financial institutions have realized that financing fossil fuels, and other projects that harm the environment, is bad for their long-term future.

“I truly believe that the next 30 years of our economy and our society, can’t be like the last 30 years,” said Guy Cormier, CEO of Desjardins Group, one of Canada’s largest financial services companies. “The activities of a financial institution can make a real difference in the lives of the people and also in the environment.”

Becoming more environmentally sustainable requires banks, insurers and investors to redesign their business models, says Usher.

“Traditional risk (in the financial sector) looks at what failed in the past,” said Usher, “With climate change that doesn’t work. Now it’s about forecasting the future, which isn’t easy and therefore is an area that we work with our members to develop the norms and standards needed to respond.” 

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change , released in September, finds that nearly every corner of the world has been touched by climate change. UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report 2021 found that, even with new national climate pledges and mitigation measures, the world is still on track for a global temperature rise of 2.7°C by the end of the century, which could lead to catastrophic climate impacts. To keep global warming below 1.5°C this century, the aspirational goal of the Paris Agreement, countries would need to halve annual greenhouse gas emissions in the next eight years.

With this as a backdrop, Usher says the work of the UNEP FI has never been so important.

“There really is no time to waste,” said Usher. “The current decade is critical to determining the future of our species and our planet.”

Guiding principles

To shepherd the financial industry towards sustainability, UNEP FI has unveiled a series of guiding frameworks including:

These industry frameworks have attracted widespread support among financial institutions. Some 80 per cent of the investment industry has committed to the Principles for Responsible Investment while 260 banks, representing $70 trillion in assets, have signed onto the Principles for Responsible Banking.

The Principles [for Responsible Banking] are very much hinged on the Paris Agreement as well as the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Siobhan Toohill, Group Head of Sustainability, Westpac. “It’s clear that climate change is a really significant factor that banks need to address… and there are areas of impacts that we need to give closer attention to, such as biodiversity.”

A progress report, released in October, highlights the accomplishments of the responsible banking principles initiative. Among other things, it found that signatories have mobilized at least $2.3 trillion in sustainable financing. What’s more, 94 per cent of banks identify sustainability as a strategic priority.

The industry frameworks developed by UNEP FI help financial institutions embed sustainability into all aspects of their business. But with more than US$100 trillion required to transition the global economy to net-zero emissions by 2050 – and US$32 trillion of that over the next decade – there is an urgent need to focus financing on helping to achieve that goal.

Three UNEP FI-convened groups are working with more than 170 investors, banks and insurers to develop the tools and science-based guidance to use with their customers and the companies they invest in to decarbonize their businesses. The financial institutions are setting targets every few years and making their progress public via annual reporting to ensure that their work can be measured and scrutinized, and that they keep their commitments on track.

The large number of financial institutions involved and the near-term action that has been committed to, have left Usher optimistic about the future.

“There’s no question we have a lot of work to do to make our societies more sustainable,” he said. “But in the private sector, the desire for real change is growing and that makes me hopeful.”

UNEP

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