GLOBAL TRADE MATTERS – THE PRIVATE SECTOR THINKTANK FOR ECONOMIC POLICIES
Global Trade Matters, an independent for-profit private sector think tank, was created in 2005 in order to broaden the discussion about economic policies to include the interests of the private sector, and the intellectual classes while ensuring the enhancement of the underprivileged. Global Trade Matters conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social, economic and political policies. Its expressed aim is to promote international economic cooperation in a sustainable and socially balanced manner.
Global Trade Matters strives to promote “economic education” of the general public and the private sector while identifying and advocating efficient economic policies through studies, researches, conferences, round-table discussions, open debates, seminars, publications and digital media.
Its areas of interest include different topics such as fiscal and economic policies, international affairs, global trade and investment, global competitiveness, illegal migration, job creation and regional economic integration and climate change, mitigation and action.
Through Global Trade Matters organizations and individuals can access an extensive network of local and international CEOs, top executives, thought leaders, academics, senior diplomats and senior government officials from all over the world.
Over the years Global Trade Matters strives to bridge the gap between the theory and practice by initiating and investing in social projects which have positively impacted the lives of tens of thousands of low income households across Egypt.
In 2015 Global Trade Matters established the Global Trade Matters Center at Smart Village Egypt’s leading Business and Technology Hub. The Center is located on a 5,800sqm state of the art conferencing and training facility offering a trues center of business development and excellence.
Flagship Summit, Conferences & Events:
Since 2005, Global Trade Matters has developed, organized and implemented over 250 Summits, conferences, meetings, roundtable discussions and seminars locally, regionally and internationally attracting over 40,000 attendees and delegates to these unique gatherings. More than 6,000 speakers representing government, civil society and the private sector have participated at our events making Global Trade Matters one of the most recognized and respected platforms for economic, investment and trade dialogue in the region.
Country Pairing Program:
Developed in 2005, The Global Trade Matters Country Pairing Program (CPP) and series of conferences and meetings aimed at addressing pressing issues regarding regional and international bilateral and multilateral trade and investment agreements and protocols. The main aim of the CPP was the inclusion of the Egyptian Private Sector in the decision making and taking dialogue and process of formulating and implementing international trade agreements. The CPP also reviewed Egypt’s performance on trade enhancement and most importantly assessing Egypt’s trade deficit with some of its largest trading partners. This series includes but is not limited to: Doing Business with America, Doing Business with the EU, Doing Business with Africa, Doing Business with Asia, Doing Business with Latin America, Doing Business with Canada, Doing Business COMESA and Doing Business with the United Arab Emirates.
The Global Trade Matters – Egyptian Stock Exchange Awards (GTM/EGX Awards)
In association with the Egyptian Stock Exchange and supported by Credit Suisse, Commercial International Bank, CI Capital and Alex Bank, Global Trade Matters launched the GTM/EGX Awards in 2005 (previously known as the Crystal Global Awards) awarding Egypt’s best performing companies on the Egyptian Stock Exchange. The awards were selected by a Strategic Advisory Board comprised of 11 leading financial experts from the banking and non-banking financial institutions whom reviewed and assessed both quantitative and qualitative data and information about each nominated organization. In 2005 this unique event awarded on 5 companies and by 2010 it had grown and expanded to include over 12 annual awards.
The Global Trade Matters Annual Money & Finance Conference Series
2020 will mark the 15th round of the Money & Finance Conference Series developed in response to the Global Financial Crises in 2008, offering an international platform for a more comprehensive understanding of the impacts of the crisis on global investment flows and global economic growth. Held under the Auspices of the Egyptian Prime Minister’s Office and in collaboration with Credit Suisse, the Money & Finance Conference Series has attracted world renowned local, regional and international speakers from over 32 countries representing some of the of the largest corporations and organizations from around the world making it one of the most important economic and financial annual gatherings in Egypt.
The Global Trade Matters Annual Global Competitiveness Summit
Based on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report which is issued annually and which measures the competitiveness of over 140 countries based on 12 key pillars, the Global Trade Matter Global Competitiveness Summit was inaugurated by the President of the Global Federation for Competitiveness Councils (the GFCC) The Honorable Deborah Wince Smith in January 2016. The Global Trade Matters Global Competitiveness Summit has attracted over 120 global experts on Competitiveness, business leaders and a senior government officials to openly discuss Egypt’s performance on the index and discuss policies, strategies and programs directed towards the improvement of the nation’s competitiveness globally.
The Ambassadors’ Edition Annual Global Competitiveness Summit
Now in its 5th year The Global Trade Matters Global Competitiveness Summit, part of the Global Trade Matters Global Competitiveness initiative, is an annual gathering of Ambassadors, Senior Diplomats, Senior Executive from international Organizations and leaders from the private sector aimed at sharing experiences and branding the dialogue on the importance of Global Competitiveness. Key strategic partners from Switzerland, Singapore, Germany, Finland, Belgium, Denmark, Mexico, Panama, South Africa, Philippines, Ethiopia, Chile, Lithuania, Slovenia Ireland and New Zealand have actively participated at this unique event bridging idea gaps and forging new partnerships for international cooperation and development while enhancing the Competitiveness dialogue in Egypt.
The Global Trade Matters International Dialogue on Climate Neutrality Series
The “Global Trade Matters Dialogue on Climate Neutrality Series” acts as a platform for sharing the challenges, opportunities, experiences and new ideas on how to transform into a carbon free global society, while exploring implementation policies, strategies and initiatives undertaken by different countries respectively to achieve the global aspiration for Vision 2050. The series of events at raising awareness within the business community, participating schools and universities on the importance of a post-carbon economy and how they as “community influencers”, can play a vital role in achieving climate neutrality. The “Global Trade Matters Dialogue on Climate Neutrality” explores the role of International Cooperation (Governments, Agencies, Organizations) in providing sustainable support through financial flows, capacity building, and technology transfer to developing countries working towards carbon neutrality. These events also highlight the importance of the private sector’s commitment to invest in technologies and practices which reduce a company’s footprint in the journey towards carbon neutrality.
Ongoing Policy Issues
Illegal Migration & Job Creation:
Global Trade Matters collaborates with international organizations, educational institutes and think tanks from Europe to address issues regarding illegal migration and job creation, from and in Northern Africa. Meetings with the Laboratory of Mediterranean Studies of the European Journalism Observatory at the Università della Svizzera italiana, in collaboration with the Fidinam Foundation in Switzerland aim at identifying the role of the private sector in creating new sustainable jobs in Egypt, Morocco, Tunis, Libya and Algeria – moving away from the traditional European model of “Aid and Trade” to ‘Creating Shared Value” between the Mediterranean countries in order to balance between the emerging and developed market trends, as well as the different socio-economic consumer dynamics.
Regional Economic Integration:
Global Trade Matters collaborates with international organizations, educational institutes and think tanks from around the world to push forward the main theme of the Arab Peace Initiative which was re-endorsed at the 2017 Arab League summit promoting peace based on justice and equity. The Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs), the world’s leading independent think tank, initiated the first phase regional integration meeting where twenty-two participants convened for two and a half days in May 2017 in London to assess the potential for increased regional economic growth rates, commercial and trade opportunities and the employment and development benefits that would accrue to all the populations of the Middle East if the Arab Peace Initiative (API) was to be implemented. A follow up meetings between the core participants were held in Jordan hosted by the Amman Center for Peace and Development, in Greece hosted by Thought4Action Think Tank and in France hosted by the French Presidency in 2018. The meetings aimed at having and open and transparent discuss the scope of a full ‘regional economic diplomacy’ project and actionable strategy.
In collaboration with the Commercial International Bank (CIB), Egypt’s leading private sector bank, Global Trade Matters launched the Compete Egypt Private Sector Initiative in 2016 with the objective of enhancing the Global Competitiveness Dialogue in Egypt and improve the nation’s ranking on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness index (GCI). Global Trade Matters has engaged with international organizations, private sector companies and foreign governments with the aim of sharing competitiveness based knowledge, experiences and knowhow, expanding the understanding and building new capacities for a more globally competitive Egypt. Global Trade Matters’ competitiveness based conferences and meetings have hosted global leaders and experts in competitiveness such as the Honorable Deborah Wince Smith – President of the Global Federation for Competitiveness Councils to engage with the Egyptian business community and further promote the importance of global competitiveness.
Foreign Direct Investment:
In 2017, Global Trade Matters launched the “Demand Gap Initiative” with the objective of matching non-traditional investment opportunity with international investors and funds. The Government of Egypt has undertaken major economic reforms redefining the investment environment in Egypt with Billions of USD being invested in mega infrastructure projects paving the way for new investments and economic growth across the country. On the other hand thousands of factories remain closed and small and medium businesses lack access to domestic or international finance. Startup and venture capital investors are limited in both reach and volume of investments and transactions. The Demand Gap Initiative identifies small to medium investment opportunities in Egypt which have potential for geographic expansion and international exports, then matches them to other small and medium businesses in different countries or with start-ups and venture capital from abroad. The initiative also identifies opportunities available through international organizations directed towards investment in Egypt. Global Trade Matters works closely with diplomatic missions in Egypt to facilitate the networking process and identification of potential investment opportunities in Egypt.
Climate Neutrality – Action and Mitigation:
In 2019 Global Trade Matters re-launched its Investing in a Green Economy initiative developed back in 2008 and which addressed the importance of creating an environmentally friendly economy and creating the new green jobs of the future. The Climate Neutrality Policy Initiative brings together thought leaders, academics, international experts, senior diplomats, senior business executives and key government representatives to engage in an open dialogue on the importance of Climate Neutrality and how key stakeholders can work together towards Vision 2050. Hosted in Association with the Embassies of Ireland, Denmark, Brazil, New Zealand and Singapore in Cairo, the Climate Neutrality Initiative addresses some of the main challenges facing not Just Egypt, but other countries around the world due to Climate Change. The initiative aims at bridging the thought gaps between countries regarding climate change.
Social Entrepreneurship Projects
Black & white Taxi Top Advertising Project”
In the early 2000s Global Trade Matters in association with the Ministry of Interior General Traffic Department and Governorate of Cairo, Giza, Qaloubia, Red Sea, Port Said, Ismailia and Alexandria, launched the “Black & white Taxi Top Adverting Project” which included over 3800 independent owned taxi vehicles across the country. This project impacted the livelihood of an estimated 30,000 people over the project span of 7 years. The “Global Trade Matters Black & white Taxi Top Advertising Project” aligned with our organizations blend of for-profit goals and generating a positive “return to society” through raising annual incomes for participating drivers by 10% while reducing running costs of the vehicles by as high as 19%. Vehicles participating in the project also increased their revenues through becoming part of a larger fleet of transport solutions. The “Black & white Taxi Top Adverting Project” was funded through advertising revenues provided by international private sector companies such as Orange, Vodafone, Chloride, Western Union, Nestle, Honeywell and many others.
MiniMart Kiosks Project
In association with the Governorate of Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, El Menia, Port Said and Ismailia, Global Trade Matters launched the “MiniMart Kiosks Project” which aimed at revamping over 120,000 street side kiosks across the country. This city beatification and development project physically replaced old and unregulated Kiosk with brand new designs in conforming to government licenses and regulations, in addition to enhancing space usage for more shelf space and products, while streamlining the supply chain through achieving economies of scale across the network. MiniMart Kiosks Project was funded through private sector advertising for companies such as Coca Cola, Orange, HoneyWell, Cadbury and British American Tobacco.
Special Education for Advancement Boarding School for Special Needs
In 2012 Global Trade Matters in partnership with private investors, developed and built the Special Education for Advancement Boarding School for Special Needs on the outskirts of Cairo bridging an ever-growing gap between over 11 million Egypt’s with special needs and international education allowing young Egyptians to access new sturdy and work opportunities. Over 150 students were registered at the first year of operations with the school hosting some of the qualified faculty and medical staff. As per the schools Social Responsibility SEA applied a balanced tuition approach allowing parents with better financial standings to support students whose parents could not afford the full tuition. Global trade Matters exited its investment in SEA in 2012, yet the school is still operation and continues to serve a wide range of local, regional and international students.
The Village Center (Conference Center)
In 2014, Global trade Matters entered into and agreement with Smart Villages Development Company, the owner/operator of the Smart Village Egypt, the country’s leading technology, finance and education hubs located on the Cairo Alexandria Desert road only 20 Minutes from the center of Cairo. The partnership gave Global trade Matters the management right to the Smart Village Conference Center know known as the “Village Center”, a state f the art-conferencing and meeting facility build on an area of 5,800sqm in the heart of the business park. With over 55,000 employees frequenting Smart Village daily, Global Trade Matters transformed the once underutilized facility to create a true center for the Smart Village Community including a food court with a diverse service offering creating convenience for the vast number of employees while reducing costs for employers whose staff would otherwise have to leave the business park. Part of this transformation included attracting new clientele for conferences, meetings, and exhibitions while providing the over 178 companies operating in the business park with a much needed events space. In less than two years The Village Center had reached an amazing 75% space utilization covering 365 utilization days. Clients include Huawei, Valeo, Infor, Xerox, IBM, Microsoft, Alex Bank, the Egyptian Stock Exchange, Smart Villages Schools, The Arab Academy for Science and Technology, the French Chamber of Commerce, The Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Technology, Commercial International Bank and others.
The Sidewalk Food & Services (SME Enhancement Project)
As part of Global Trade Matters ongoing efforts in developing projects for the enhancement of Small and Medium Enterprises, 2015 saw the launch of the Sidewalk project which saw the development of a food and services area to cater for over 55,000 people working and visiting Smart Village daily. Today The Sidewalk is comprised of 25 operational outlets offering anything from food and beverages to services such Orange and Valu. The majority of the operating outlets are local startup brands taking advantage of the low setup cost, affordable rents and a daily footfall of over 6,000 people.
The Village Center – Building 69 – Smart Village Egypt
KM 28 – Cairo/Alexandria Road – Giza – Egypt
Tel.: (202) 35371072 / 35371073 / 35371074