UK Trade Policy Forum

Trade, Industrial Strategy and Growth

Date: Friday 2nd February 2024

Location: St Brides Foundation, 14 Bride Lane, London, EC4Y 8EQ

The UK Trade Policy Forum is an annual one-day event that brings together the UK’s trade policy community - policy actors, civil society, academics, the media and the private sector – to discuss all things trade and trade policy.  This year's UK Trade Policy Forum is held in conjunction with the Productivity Institute on the theme of Trade, Industrial Strategy and Growth. For a summary of last years UKTPF:  UK Trade Policy Forum 2023: Trade-offs in trade

The Forum is a unique place to explore the determinants, trade-offs and direction of various policy positions, different stakeholders’ policy concerns and to learn about the latest academic thinking on key issues. It is our aim that the Forum will facilitate the sharing and deepening of knowledge, collaboration and the exploration of new possibilities for UK trade policy. All sessions will provide ample time for question-and-answers to enable open discussion and sharing of views.

Registration has now closed for this event



09:00 - 09:25

Please be seated by 09:30



Bridewell Hall

Michael Gasiorek, (CITP)

What is industrial policy and where does trade fit in? 


Bridewell Hall

Chair: Sally Jones (EY)

L. Alan Winters Director (CITP), Anthony Mangnall (MP)

The need or desire for ‘industrial policy’ is growing in many economies for various reasons ranging from boosting economic growth, dealing with climate change to more geopolitical considerations. At the same time, trade policy has become both more diverse and complex, touching on many more areas of policy than previously. This plenary session will ‘set the scene’ by considering the role and remit of industrial policy in the contemporary economic climate and the interface between international trade, trade policy and industrial policy.

Coffee Break


Farringdon Room

Imports, exports, productivity and innovation growth



Chair: Jun Du (Aston University)

Speakers: Halima Jibril (University of Warwick); Barry Leahey MBE (Playdale)

A key challenge facing many economies is to boost productivity and rates of economic growth, and this is particularly so for the UK. This session will explore the role of international trade in stimulating economic growth, the various channels through which it might do so, and the role of policy in strengthening and supporting those channels. An important part of this discussion will focus on the impact of change in both policy, and trade of individual firms, and how this can impact on productivity growth.

Economic security and the geo-politicisation of trade


Bridewell Hall

Chair: Iana Dreyer (Borderlex)

Speakers: Masamichi Ito (Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Amar Breckenridge (Frontier Economics)

Economic security and geopolitical security issues have seen various governments - the US, China, the EU and Japan- introduce a range of policies designed to protect supply chains, control technology transfer and promote international competitiveness in ‘strategic’ industries. This session will discuss the interface between economic policy and foreign policy and how it spills into and complicates trade policy.



Farringdon Room

Place based policies and the role of trade



Chair: Hemita Bhatti (Institute of Exports)

Speakers: Kerry Curran (NI Dept for the Economy), Peter Holmes (University of Sussex)

Economic policy may be needed to stimulate greater growth and efficiency but also to balance the gains from growth across the country, and to ease burdens of adjustment. In the UK, much has been made of ‘levelling up’ and how policies such as Freeport or investment zones can help to achieve this as well as boosting growth. This session aims to consider how trade may impact differentially across regions, the importance of international trade across regions and its role in regional economic growth, and the desirability and effectiveness of regionally focussed trade and industrial policy.

The green transition as part of a growth and industrial strategy


Bridewell Hall

Chair:  Emily Lydgate (CITP)

Speakers: Jim Bacchus (UCF), David Barnes (Scottish Government)

In the face of climate change, governments are introducing policies to stimulate the green transition, and this is increasingly a core feature of industrial strategy. The policies range from domestic subsidies, local content requirements, and possible taxes on imports based on embedded carbon intensity. The aim of this session is to consider the interface between the need to decarbonise, industrial strategy and the role of trade (policy) therein. To what extent is the need to decarbonise a cost / burden that needs to be borne, or an opportunity to drive growth and competitiveness?

Coffee Break


Farringdon Room

What role for services and services trade as part of industrial policy



Chair: Minako Morita-Jaeger (CITP)

Speakers: Ben Douglass Smith (DBT), Dmitry Grozoubinski (Explain Trade and Geneva Trade Platform)

Industrial policy is often conceived of in terms of things that are made – hence manufacturing. Yet in the UK, services constitute 80% of the economy and account for nearly 50% of UK exports. For the US and the EU, the share of services in GDP is around 70%. So, what is the role of services, and services trade in a modern ‘industrial policy’ and does the balance between services and manufacturing matter? How should / could policy take into account services as stand-alone activities or as inputs into manufacturing? What is the importance of the digital economy and digital trade?

Social cohesion, trade and industrial policy


Bridewell Hall

Chair: Ludivine Petetin (CITP)

Speakers: Raoul Ruparel (BCG); Judith Kirton-Darling (industriAll European Trade Union)

The last decade seems to have seen both a rise in concern regarding the impacts of globalisation on different groups in society, and relatedly a rise in what might be loosely termed ‘populism’. Successful policy typically needs social backing and thus should take public opinion seriously, though equally, it should not be driven by public opinion.

This session will discuss the interactions between public opinion and policy formation, and how economic transformation may impact public opinion on economic policy choices.

Roundtable on Trade, Industrial Strategy and Growth


Bridewell Hall

Chair: Soumaya Keynes (Financial Times)

Speakers: Tony Venables (The Productivity Institute), Mairi Spowage (CITP), Jill Rutter (UKICE)

The roundtable will pull together some of the themes from the earlier sessions and provide an opportunity for a discussion across the range of topics. possibly bringing in new issues which are considered relevant. The roundtable will start with opening remarks from our panellists and a moderated discussion between them, followed by a Q&A and discussion with the audience.

Conference Close


Michael Gasiorek (CITP)



Farringdon Room