Launched in 2019 with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the University of Auckland’s Public Policy Institute hosts an annual Auckland Trade and Economic Policy School (ATEPS). In December 2021, we hosted our first fully-online Auckland Trade and Economic Policy School. Originally planned for September and in person, COVID19 required us to reformat the programme bringing international and domestic trade experts together over two half days with additional pre-recorded content. This was an invaluable opportunity to hear from leading scholars and professionals on crucial issues facing trade and economic policy in a geopolitically and economically challenging climate. As the Public Policy Institute plans and prepares for ATEPS 2022, we reflect on ATEPS 2021.
Resetting trade rules and norms in the context of Covid19
ATEPS 2021 responded to the multiple calls from international organisations and political leaders for a resetting of trade arrangements and increased cooperation. Geopolitical tensions globally and regionally have presented challenges for these aspirations, as have the realities of ongoing border closures and the variable effects of other domestic policy settings.
Nevertheless, the advent and persistence of COVID19 have also created a space for new conversations and action around international trade rules, the connections between trade and health, digital trade regulations and, perhaps most significantly, the ongoing importance of advancing a greener trading system.
ATEPS 2021 asked: How realistic is this idea of a reset, what might new trade arrangements look like? Will old trade wars continue to loom large for the Asia Pacific region, and what needs to be part of a sustainable trade agenda for the future inclusive of the Pacific, Indigenous people and diverse business interests?
The 2021 Auckland Trade and Economic Policy School (ATEPS) featured a range of local and international experts from the New Zealand Government, experts on geopolitics, governance, climate change and trade, and leaders in business and policy insights. Sessions included: Te Tiriti and Indigenous trade policy, COP26 and green trade policy, the geopolitical context into 2022, trade in the Pacific and more. You can watch all these sessions and more by going to the YouTube playlist linked below.