Trade is an essential component for countries to be able to integrate in the global economy and to build capacity to implement and benefit from Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs). Besides that, governments and companies have an increasing awareness to mainstream sustainability issues into the trade agenda. In this context, there is a growing demand for evidence-based, rigorous research and advice for organisations.
The Trade Policy Hub at LSE Consulting has been set up and developed by Dr Elitsa Garnizova to explore the technical aspects of trade agreements, legal requirements and the business benefits, but also the wider related implications of trade and investment policies.
To address current challenges, we have expanded our focus to newly emerging areas such as digital trade, data rules, and sustainability. Additionally, we explore topics at the intersection between trade policy and other areas, like global governance, finance, geopolitics, and security, which have become more relevant for understanding the trade-offs companies and governments need to make.
Looking at the trade agreement between the EU and Japan, for example, what opportunities does it open up for trade and investment? And what challenges remain? Another recent project studies the impact of Brexit on the UK dairy sector, how it might affect consumers and how it might change costs along the supply chain.
With reference to wider trends in the area, our attention is dedicated to the increase and impact of preferential trade agreements and how compatible they are with existing multilateral agreements from a legal and policy-implementation standpoint. We are also actively exploring the future of key institutions such as the World Trade Organisation. Further, we tackle questions regarding the relation between domestic regulatory policy and international liberalisation. Should trade agreements address divergent regulatory policies at national level? If so, in which ways?
TPH programme participation
TPH has been awarded a place on the highly competitive SUCCESS programme, which is a first-of-its-kind incubator programme designed to help social scientists with innovative and marketable research ideas. Funded by the Aspect network, SUCCESS provides training, support and funding to transform ideas into a business or social enterprise. The programme's cohort are benefitting from support to build their idea, including a bootcamp focused on imparting entrepreneurial skills, and the opportunity to pitch to investors for prize money of up to £50,000.
Our Trade Policy Hub has been awarded a place in the highly competitive ICURe Innovation-to-Commercialisation programme and received a £35k fund to carry out market validation of our research-based business idea.
ICURe is a 13-week national programme funded by Innovate UK to offer university researchers with commercially promising ideas up to £50k to ‘get out of the lab’ and validate their ideas in the marketplace.
For the Trade Policy Hub, the programme will be a journey to better understand what kind of expertise should be provided to prepare organisations to respond to the multiple challenges in the global trade environment.