Event Overview

Complex supply chains and evolving market access have delivered a global economic interdependence that has been important in terms of growth and prosperity, but also in encouraging and reinforcing stability in other areas of international cooperation and governance. This interdependence has become increasingly unstable in the context of growing geopolitical confrontations, serving to remind us that cooperation, universal rules and values, are both difficult to obtain and by no means permanent.

While such political and trading tensions continue to rise and as the EU seeks to strike a balance between increased strategic autonomy and a continued support for multilateralism, this Forum Europe TRADE 2021 Conference will look at what reforms are necessary to international institutions, at the state of, and prospects for relations between trading blocs. Following the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference and COP26, we will also discuss issues pertaining to supply chain security, how the mega trends of national security, digital trade, and climate change will all be impacted by the directions taken in the short to medium term.

Key Themes


The Multilateral Trading System

What now and what next?


Trade & Digital

New frontiers, new barriers?


Climate & Trade

Building back better

Confirmed Speakers

Jean Marie Paugam

Jean-Marie Paugam

Deputy Director General


Ignacio Garcia Bercero

Ignacio Garcia Bercero

Director of Multilateral Affairs, Strategy, Analysis and Evaluation, DG TRADE

European Commission

Bernd Lange

Bernd Lange

MEP & INTA Chair

European Parliament

Audrey Plonk

Audrey Plonk

Head of Digital Economy Policy


Carolyn Deere Birkbeck

Carolyn Deere Birkbeck


Forum on Trade, Environment and the SDGs (TESS)

Anne Olhoff

Anne Olhoff

Head of Strategy, Climate Planning and Policy,

UNEP DTU Partnership

Poppy Carnell

Poppy Carnell

Chief Correspondent


Past Speakers

Cecelia Malmstrom 240

Cecilia Malmström

Commissioner, DG Trade

European Commission

Bernd Lange TTIP EU US Trade

Bernd Lange

MEP & Chair, Committee on International Trade

European Parliament

Phil Hogan

Phil Hogan

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development

European Commission

Ignacio Garcia Bercero

Director, DG TRADE,

European Commission

Denis Redonnet

Denis Redonnet

Head of Unit, Trade Strategy, DG Trade

European Commission

*Positions and organisations at time of contribution


If you are interested in speaking, sponsorship and visibility opportunities, please contact Geraldine Evans at [email protected] / +44 (0) 2920 780 070.

Note: All timings are in Central European Time (CET)

08:30 – 09:00

Virtual Platform and Networking Area Opening

09:00 – 09:30

Keynote Session

09:30 – 11:00

The Multilateral Trading System: what now and what next?

The decay of the rules-based international trading system has had the twin effect of forcing countries and blocs to seek to be more self-reliant, while at the same time strengthening calls for reforms of institutions such as the WTO, the latter being a priority in the EU’s new trade strategy. This session will delve into how the EU and the international community can cooperate to reform and rebuild a sustainable and effective system for global trade, one fit for the economic, social and climate challenges of the 21st century. 

It will discuss the EU’s reinforced focus on the implementation and enforcement of trade agreements and on the transparency of trade practices to ensure a level playing field for businesses. It will examine the work being done to develop instruments to protect European companies and citizens from unfair and abusive trade practices, including via the preparation of an anti-coercion instrument. It will look at prospects for trading relations between the new US administration, an EU pushing for greater autonomy, China – following the conclusion of the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment – and others, such as neighbouring states and developing countries.  It will explore how trade policy can support the EU’s geopolitical goals, and how COVID-19 and the economic recovery period might change the nature of the trading landscape. 

11:00 – 12:30

Trade and Digital: New frontiers, new barriers?

The pandemic has reinforced the extent to which digital technologies, data, and services are critical to global commerce, with technology firms and those operating across digital sectors sitting at the heart of both the upside of demand, and the downside of supply issues and geopolitics.

A recent shortage in semiconductors as result of a confluence of a demand spike and a rise in diplomatic tensions, has led to the idling of car plants around the world, while the production of consumer electronics has slowed or stalled. As the EU pushes for increased autonomy, and while the rollout of digital infrastructures such as 5G in Europe is the subject of much debate, seeking consensus on what a post-Covid global trading landscape should look like is essential in ensuring the digital transition is as equitable as possible.

 This session will analyse how digital and data in global trade is evolving, what the prospects are for common standards and cooperation on issues such as cyber security, international data flows, AI and other emerging technologies through global collaboration initiatives such as the EU-US Tech and Trade Technology Council. This session will also examine whether the range of supply chain, infrastructure security concerns and loss of trust in the multilateral system therefore necessitates a retreat to more regional self-reliance and resilience. By exploring the provisions included in the Communication “2030 Digital Compass: the European Way for the Digital Decade” that was released in March, the session will discuss the role that fair and sustainable trade rules can play in ensuring the EU economy competitiveness in a global digital market.

12:30 – 13:30

Lunch Break and Virtual Networking

13:30 – 13:45

Afternoon Keynote Session

13:45 – 15:15

Climate and Trade: Building back better

By including sustainability as an explicit and central pillar of its new trade strategy for the first time, the Commission is restating its commitment to fulfil its Green Deal ambitions and to support the transition to a climate-neutral EU economy. The relationship between global trade and climate change is however complex. This session will assess where it is possible to achieve significant impact within this interaction both via the EU and through international cooperation. It will discuss how recent and future policy initiatives, such as the proposed Fit-for-55 package, an upcoming legislative proposal on sustainable corporate governance introducing mandatory due diligence requirements to contribute to more sustainable supply chains mechanisms, and the review of the 15-point action plan on implementing and enforcing the Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapters of its trade agreements can promote sustainability action and support the green transition globally. Following on from issues discussed during COP26 and as the race for zero emissions gains momentum, how can EU trade policy help to drive the use of green goods and services, while encouraging the adoption of climate-friendly policies in other countries? What steps can the international community take to better align global trade and environmental governance?

15:15 – 15:45

Virtual Networking & End of Conference

Sponsors & Partners

Platinum Sponsor
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), a leader in the semiconductor industry, is shaping the data-centric future with computing and communications technology that is the foundation of the world’s innovations. The company’s engineering expertise is helping address the world’s greatest challenges as well as helping secure, power and connect billions of devices and the infrastructure of the smart, connected world – from the cloud to the network to the edge and everything in between.

With the acquisition of Mobileye in 2017, Intel is the leading supplier of software that enables Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS), with more than 25 automaker partners including some of the world’s largest. Beyond ADAS, our technology has rapidly evolved to also support the three pillars of Autonomous Driving – Sensing, Mapping, and Driving Policy.
Gold Sponsor
Platinum Sponsor
Qualcomm’s technologies powered the smartphone revolution and connected billions of people. While many of our inventions and breakthroughs reside “under the hood” of consumer electronics, they have transformed the world in a big way. They have helped propel mobile to the forefront of the technology world and to the top of consumers’ wish lists. They have created new opportunities for mobile ecosystem players — the wireless device makers, the operators, the developers and the content creators of the world. And more recently, our inventions and breakthroughs have inspired fresh, new ideas from those companies — large and small — new to the wireless space. We are engineers, scientists and business strategists. Together, we focus on a single goal — invent mobile technology breakthroughs. We pioneered 3G and 4G — and now, we are leading the way to 5G and a new era of intelligent, connected devices. Our products are revolutionizing industries including automotive, computing, IoT and healthcare, and are allowing millions of devices to connect with each other in ways never before imagined.
Platinum Sponsor
Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Through our dedication to customer-centric innovation and strong partnerships, we have established end-to-end advantages in telecom networks, devices and cloud computing. We are committed to creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers by providing competitive solutions and services. Our products and solutions have been deployed in over 140 countries, serving more than one third of the world’s population.

Sponsorship Opportunities

To discuss sponsorship and visibility opportunities at The Trade 2021 Conference, please contact Geraldine Evans on [email protected] / +44 (0) 2920 783 070.

Why sponsor The Trade 2021 Conference?

Brown Tick

Exclusive speaking positions | Your organisation can contribute to the discussion and be a thought leader on the ‘main stage’.

Brown Tick

Customised Presentations | Showcase your products and solutions or share a position paper with the audience via a pre-recorded presentation with the audience in our Trade Hub

Brown Tick

Engaging and Interactive format | Engage in a fully immersive and interactive debate with decisionmakers, businesses and policymakers.

Brown Tick

EU and global outreach | Convey your message to a broad and international audience.

Brown Tick

Networking opportunities | The event will feature virtual networking for all interested participants. Private meeting rooms can also be booked.

Brown Tick

Visibility Opportunities | Ensure maximum visibility through branding on the event website and marketing activities.

Event Platform

This event will be taking place using Forum Europe’s virtual solution. For more details, please visit forum-europe.com


For more information on any aspect of this event, please contact Geraldine Evans using any of the details below.

Geraldine Evans
Event Manager
Forum Europe

[email protected]

Tel: +44 (0) 2920 783 070