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Last updated: Thursday, February 21, 2019

 

Sustainable Trade Index 2018: Directing Businesses to Sustainability

Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in collaboration with the Hinrich Foundation will organise a workshop on introduction of Sustainable Trade Index 2018 in the framework of corporate sustainability activities on November 23.

Hinrich Foundation Sustainable Trade Index 2018, developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit, is a standardised study commissioned by the Hinrich Foundation. This is the second edition of the study, with the first published in 2016.

This index measures the capacity of 20 economies (19 Asian economies and the United States) to participate in the international trading system in a manner that supports long-term goals of economic growth, environmental protection and social development at both national and international level. The index consists of 24 indicators, categorised into the three recognised pillars of sustainability, to gauge and assess whether a nation joins the sustainable global trade system or not.

The main message of this index is, although trade is an integral part of economic development, we cannot build a sustainable economy without responsible environmental management and commitment to full development of social capital. Countries that deliberately leapfrog, disregarding their environmental and social impacts, will not be able to continue building successful and sustainable trade and economic development in the long run and will gradually lose their ability to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) capital into important areas and hardly secure funding and support sources from multilateral development agencies. Therefore, this index plays a representative role in meeting the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals in each nation.

The Sustainable Trade Index provides the opportunity for citizens, businesses, the social community and policymakers to engage in discussions to seek out best ways to promote local development through sustainable global trade. The global rules-based trading system is facing the biggest threat in history as protectionism is present in many developed countries in the West.

While doing research on building the Sustainable Trade Index 2018 and making this report, the Economist Intelligence Unit interviewed many executives and experts across the globe, including from the Asian Trade Centre, Asia-Pacific, Cargill and DHL.

The Economist Intelligence Unit is a research and analysis unit of the Economist Group, the owner of The Economist Newspaper. Founded in 1946, it has over 70 years of experience in supporting companies, financial firms and governments to understand world changes, opportunities that need to be grasped and risks that need to be managed.

The Hinrich Foundation is a non-profit organisation that undertakes trade-related policy research and development work in Asia. It focuses on creating opportunities, choice and engagement through sustainable and mutually beneficial global trade. Through the Sustainable Trade Index, the Foundation aims to stimulate positive thinking about global trade and promote behaviours that will lead to better developmental outcomes, engagement and stability.

The Hinrich Foundation Sustainable Trade Index 2018 was created with the intent to encourage constructive discussions on all aspects that need to be considered by policymakers, business executives and civil society leaders in the process of managing and administering international trade. Many middle-income countries have relatively good indicators, led by Sri Lanka. Although sustainable trade is closely linked to prosperity - this is understandable, there are some notable exceptions, including Sri Lanka (7th), China (8th) and Vietnam (9th). These countries jumped to leapfrog to become richer (per capita). Malaysia (12th), Thailand (13th) and Brunei (15th) have their scores drop sharply.

Le Hien








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