ABU DHABI - Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, has welcomed global trade leaders to the Trade House pavilion at the COP28 in Dubai’s Expo City, marking the first time that trade has been incorporated into the official programme of the global climate conference.

Held under the COP28 Presidency and in collaboration with the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Trade House pavilion is set to host a number of vital conversations in COP28’s Blue Zone on the role of trade in achieving the Paris climate accords, featuring an extensive and influential group of policymakers, NGOs and trade professionals.

Speaking during the opening session of the Trade Pavilion were Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the WTO; Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General of UNCTAD; Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of International Trade Centre, and John W.H. Denton AO, Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce.

They each restated the central role of trade in the global climate debate and highlighted its potential to enhance access to green products, sustainable services and technologies, promote economic opportunities for developing countries, and encourage energy transition throughout global value chains.

During his opening remarks, Al Zeyoudi emphasised the centrality of trade to the global economy and by extension, its importance to efforts in mitigating the impact of climate change. “It is imperative to discuss sustainability and climate action with the inclusion of trade – a sector that has remained a consistent source of much of our collective prosperity. Now, worth more than US$25 trillion to the global economy, and with nations pursuing growth strategies based on the global exchange of goods and services, trade must be part of the climate conversation,” he said.

“It is exactly for this reason the COP28 Presidency has placed the concept of trade front and centre of the global climate debate, and why for the first time we are seeing a pavilion dedicated to trade at the world’s leading climate conference. I look forward to witnessing the discussions, conversations and launch events that will take place over the coming fortnight and working together to upgrade the global trading system and enhance its contribution to our climate ambitions.”

The Trade House pavilion will feature more than 40 sessions throughout the conference, covering various topics aligned with the official COP28 Presidency’s thematic days. Session topics include waste management, circular economy, border carbon fees, food systems, zero-emission maritime and stock exchanges.

The launch of the Trade House pavilion comes ahead of the first-ever Trade Day at COP28, focusing the conference’s attention on the sector with a full programme of events, activations and sessions on Monday, 4th December. This includes the Sustainable Trade Forum hosted by the Ministry of Economy.