Supply chain connectivity in a changing global economy

Panel Session


22 May


16:45 to 18:15


Hall 3, Level +1

Transport connectivity is essential for global value chains. Better connectivity promotes regional integration, reduces trade costs and increases trade volumes, which stimulates economic growth, social integration, and development. This panel session will explore changes affecting global trade flows and discuss ways to improve global and regional connectivity in the face of these changes. It will specifically consider the role of policy makers in implementing solutions. The session will kick off with a short presentation of the ITF Global Freight Model, a tool to assess the evolution of freight flows, and its application for a recent joint ITF - OECD  study of connectivity in Central Asia.

Key facts:

  • World trade will grow at an annual rate of 3.5% in the coming years, slower than the close to 7% average annual growth since 1990.
  • Trade in OECD countries will halve by 2060, but will more than double among non-OECD economies.
  • Global trade patterns will shift geographically, reflecting converging regional incomes, changes in consumption patterns, and changes in productivity between regions. Asia and Africa will see substantial increases in trade.

Lead questions:

  • How do changes in the global distribution of economic activity affect trade flows? What do these changes mean for international freight transport and logistics and supply chains? What are the implications for the environment?
  • How do these changes manifest themselves in different regions? What are specific regional solutions and what should be the role of policymakers?
  • How can new opportunities for data generation and sharing shape the transformation of logistics chains?

Background reading:

  • ITF Transport Outlook 2019 (forthcoming)
  • OECD Global Economic Outlook 2018
  • Jean Chateau, Lionel Fontagné, Jean Fouré, Åsa Johansson, Eduardo Olaberría. Trade patterns in the 2060 world economy. OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD, 2015 (1), pp.67-100. Available on: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01299777/document
  • ITF Enhancing Connectivity and Freight in Central Asia 2019






Muneeza Alam

Economist at the World Bank Group

Sunandan Tiwari

Director, Global Implementation

ICLEI World Secretariat

Stephen Cotton

General Secretary

International Transport Worker's Federation

Bruno Georges

Secretary General

Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR)

Melinda Crane

Moderator, Chief Political Correspondent, Deutsche Welle-TV

Christian Labrot


International Road Transport Union (IRU)