At the start of 2019, Dr Rebecca Harding joined us in the Trade Finance TV studio as our very first guest and predicted a rocky year ahead for trade as globalisation morphed into localisation. You can look back at “Trade growth drivers and the risks of derailment,” here.
A year on, she returns – with more uncertainties on the trade horizon – and that is quite apart from Coronavirus-triggered disruption. More geopolitics, in particularly the ramping up of the weaponised language between the US and China during 2019, created uncertainty in markets and investment. This in turn dampened economic growth and trade flows around the world. “Trade is being used as a proxy for a much bigger battle going on between the superpowers,” says Harding.
She points out that while the 15 of January 2020 Phase 1 deal between China and the US have locked in a few things around tariffs, it is silent on technology, intellectual property and dispute resolution. As for the UK post Brexit, she believes there will be a deal with the EU – the combined UK/EU and US supply chains make that a necessity.
But given that around 80% of world trade is financed by some form of credit or guarantee, trade finance has, she concludes, “the capacity to bring the world back together again”.
Tune in to find out more.