The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published its Review of Maritime Transport 2019 earlier in the year, addressing the shifting landscape and range of challenges, further highlighting the rising concern of climate change. Thus, as the Panama Canal underlines, climate change adaptation and mitigation have become urgent priorities across the maritime industry, leading to changes such as the IMO 2020 regulation or rise of climate-conscious shipping finance portfolios around the world.
UNCTAD published a report discussing the ongoing trade dispute between US and China, highlighting that the trade war played a crucial part in the reduction of the bilateral trade, higher prices for consumers and trade diversion effects, increased imports from countries not directly involved in the trade war.
UNCTAD released the Review of Maritime Transport 2019, presenting a fall in maritime trade growth. Moreover, trade policy crosscurrents, geopolitics and sanctions, environmental worries, fuel economics and tensions regarding the Strait of Hormuz, have all contributed to slower growth in merchandise trade.
UNCTAD launched its 2019 Trade and Development report, focusing on the global financial crisis in relation with the battle against climate change, arguing that the struggle to create jobs is real, the environmental breakdown being a serious threat, adding that these challenges have resulted to new targets and goals to ensure a sustainable and safe future.
In spite of a clear decline in certain fish populations, many fisheries subsidies still promote illegal fishing, overfishing and overcapacity, according to UNCTAD, adding that their removal is a priority. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 33% of the world’s fish resources are overfished, while around 60% are fished at maximum biologically sustainable levels.
UK-based maritime and freight transport consultancy MDS Transmodal announced the launch of its Port Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (Port LSCI) web application, developed jointly with UNCTAD, which allows subscribers to understand the factors that affect a port’s rating on the index.
UNCTAD issued a study concerning the alleged no-deal Brexit, highlighting that the UK as a member of the EU, participates in approximately 40 agreements along with market access to about 70 countries, which may stop having access to after the no-deal Brexit. The UNCTAD research notes that if these agreements are not concluded by exit day, it would cost the U.K. economy almost $2 billion in exports.
UNCTAD placed the Shanghai port first in 2019 ranking of the world’s best-connected ports, that was published on August 7. The Shanghai port garnered a connectivity score of 134 points, followed by the ports of Singapore (124.63 points), Pusan (114.45 points) in Korea and Ningbo (114.35 points), also in China.
Efforts by UNCTAD and TradeMark East Africa to facilitate trade in East Africa are going from strength to strength. In fact, on 4 July the two organizations signed a US$3.1 million agreement for the second phase of a project aiming to ease trade in the region. The first phase of the project was applied between 2016 and 2018 with a budget of $3.4 million.
TRACIT and UNCTAD examined how illicit trade impedes the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, noting that despite the recognition of international trade as an important means to achieve the SDGs, insufficient attention has been given to the substantial impact that illicit trade has on holding back progress.
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