The international trade has grown rapidly during the past years and trade behaviour is changing. The World Trade Day, an initiative by the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, the International Chamber of Commerce and the Swedish Association of Agents, brought up the subjects of how digitalization changes the environment for international trade and how cities, rather than nations, have become the market places of the world.
One of the major topics of the day was the global cities role in the world of international trade. The programme of the day commenced with an opening speech by Alexander Husebye, CEO of Centre for Business History, where he discussed Swedens rich history with international trade and the early-established business relationship with Shanghai.
With this in mind, Maria Rankka, the CEO of Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, held a final speech where she brought the history together with the future of international trade. She emphasized how globalization and urbanization are highly correlated today and how cities have become the most important actors. We live in a world where six hundred cities represent eighty percent of the global GDP. Local politicians are therefore facing new challenges when it comes to attracting companies and recruiting talents. In order to meet this new demand, Maria suggests that Stockholm should appoint a Minister of Free Trade, to make sure Stockholm is continuously under development to become a more attractive global city.
Furthermore, The Export Hermes Price Award Ceremony took place and H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria handed the prestigious price Export Hermes, to two Swedish companies Bona and Tacton that have successfully invested in export.
Speakers of the day were, among others, Ewa Björling, the Swedish Minister of Trade, Joakim Reiter, WTO Ambassador, Maria Rankka, CEO of Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Ulf Phersson, Vice President of Ericsson, Lena Johansson, Secretary General of ICC and Magnus Månsson, CEO of Nelly.com.
Questions, such as whether we are embracing the opportunities that the rapid digitalization is bringing, how we can boost the free trade with a digital single market and if politicians are keeping up with this development, were discussed.