Keynote Speech

Trade Wars and the Risks to Global Growth

In recent years, various international players have resorted to trade wars as a means of settling political and diplomatic scores. However, measures such as this carry a heavy price tag as they initiate a cycle of retaliation that can throw financial markets and economies into turmoil. Even though the world economy is still thriving, there a signs that a global slowdown may be on the horizon. Growth has slowed slightly since 2017, a problem that is exacerbated in emerging economies by trade wars and the imposition of tariffs and sanctions. Moreover, a decade after the most significant global financial crisis since the great depression, many analysts point out that the annual growth rates in the most advanced economies are unsustainable and the next great recession may be looming. Turkey is one of the emerging economies that has been thriving in the past two decades. However, facing tariffs, sanctions and other economic impediments related to international trade, its growth rates have been affected. For its part, the government in Turkey has turned the looming threats into opportunities, navigating these new unchartered territories and re-evaluating its economic policies and financial architecture to adapt to newly emerging realities.

Discussion Themes

This session intends to discuss the following:

• To what extent are trade wars causing uncertainty in the global financial system and affecting global stability?

• Does the imposition of tariffs and trade sanctions signal the decline of multilateralism?

• What are the implications of continual trade wars on the future of the Turkish economy?