S&P Global Ratings’ Michael Wilkins is the guest speaker on the ICC World Business Organization’s Podcast on sustainable finance

In light of the UN’s High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, ICC United Kingdom Secretary General Chris Southworth, talks to Michael Wilkins, Head of Sustainable Finance, S&P Global Ratings, about how the public and private sectors are enabling sustainable finance, the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) and resilient societies.

To listen to the full podcast click here.


ICC United Kingdom Secretary General discusses benefits of Heathrow expansion and infrastructure investment in BBC Business Live interview

Speaking to BBC Business Live, Chris Southworth, ICC Secretary General, explains that the expansion of Heathrow Airport and approval of a third runway was exactly what British businesses needed to remain competitive, especially following Brexit.

Countering claims that investment should have gone to regional airports instead, Southworth said it was not a case of “either or” but of “both and” – with a pressing need for the UK to invest in all its aviation infrastructure to support trade and economic growth.

“An expanded Heathrow will increase the UK’s ability to develop international trade links with the rest of the world, particularly with emerging markets. New routes, connections and cargo capacity will benefit businesses of all sizes and sectors in every region” Southworth further stated.

Watch the full interview here.

ICC United Kingdom Secretary General discusses the need for updated digital trade rules in the latest issue of World Trade Matters

Writing for the Institute of Export and International Trade’s professional journal, World Trade Matters, Chris Southworth, ICC United Kingdom Secretary General, explains why digital trade rules – which haven’t been updated at the WTO since 1998 – should be reformed at the international level.

Digital trade is key to enabling SME growth and access to the global economy in both developed and emerging markets, Southworth writes. However, blocks to online sales due to misaligned and unilateral regulations prevent many growing companies from trading abroad.

For this reason, rules on digital trade should be collaboratively reviewed and updated at the WTO – ensuring that the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) are incorporated to align the needs of both developed and developing economies.

Read the full article on page 18 of World Trade Matter’s Spring 2018 issue.

ICC United Kingdom’s press release on how international regulation is affecting SMEs is covered by the specialist press

Regulatory requirements are having unintended repercussions on SME business growth, indicates the latest ICC Global Trade Survey. Some 87% of banks respondent to the survey reported that complying with counter-terrorism and international sanctions regulations is a “major challenge” with respect to their ability to offer trade finance.

Well-meaning regulations are inhibiting access to trade finance for SMEs, says Chris Southworth, ICC United Kingdom Secretary General, causing inadvertent consequences in the real economy.

The news was covered in Trade Finance Global and Business Post Nigeria.

ICC United Kingdom’s trade governance model reported in The Times

Following the launch of ICC United Kingdom’s trade policy recommendations titled ‘A Trade Governance Model That Works for Everyone‘, the organisation’s Secretary General Chris Southworth tells The Times’ Callum Jones why a new governance model for trade policy is critical post-Brexit.

Southworth stated: “Public trust in trade policy has collapsed. This governance model provides a real opportunity for the UK to set new world standards in trade policy, re-build trust and put in place a modern governance framework that works for everyone.”

The framework — drawn up and endorsed by organisations including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) United Kingdom, Institute of Directors, Unite the union and the consumer group Which? — advises that parliamentary votes should take place both before trade talks begin and after they conclude.

The full article can be read at The Times.

ICC United Kingdom’s Chris Southworth discusses the Brexit Trade Bill on BBC Radio 4 Farming Today

Shortly after the Brexit Trade Bill entered Parliament, BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today talked to Chris Southworth, Secretary General of the ICC United Kingdom regarding his thoughts on how the Bill – and Customs Bill to follow – might affect UK trade.  

Both Bills are expected to set the foundation for the UK to become an independent global trading nation. However, as Southworth explains, more information is still needed for businesses to make the most of upcoming opportunities.

Southworth explains that “although the government has released groundwork trade details necessary to leave the EU, it would be nice to still see more information that companies can work with. Businesses are eager for more information now to make urgent decisions now – both companies here, but also those that the UK is trading with.”

The full interview is available here.

ICC United Kingdom’s Chris Southworth speaks to BBP Media on new opportunities for UK SMEs

In a recent interview with BBP media – the regional B2B publication – Chris Southworth, Secretary General at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) United Kingdom, discusses how local UK businesses and SMEs can stay ahead of challenges and make the most of new and existing opportunities.

In particular, he explains that businesses should actively continue building on existing trade relationships with their EU partners, as well as tap into new opportunities that may arise through trade with non-EU partners, such as the US and Commonwealth. Here, he adds the benefits of collaborating with local businesses and organisations like the ICC.

The full article can be read here.

ICC United Kingdom’s Chris Southworth discussing UK trade negotiations on Sky News

Sky News interview pic.JPG

This afternoon, ICC United Kingdom’s Secretary General, Chris Southworth, appeared on Sky News – commenting the importance of transitional arrangements during Brexit negotiations.

The interview took place after the Confederation of British Industry strongly urged Government to keep Britain in the single market and customs union until a final Brexit deal with the European Union is in place. During the interview, Chris explains why minimum disruption is crucial for businesses, and also comments on the UK’s openness to international trade – following the release of ICC’s Open Market Index on trade openness.


ICC UK’s Chris Southworth on Manchester business opportunities in GM Business Connect


ICC United Kingdom’s Chris Southworth highlights the challenges and opportunities facing Manchester’s business community for GM Business Connect magazine, in a joint commentary with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. In a post-Brexit environment, there is plenty that businesses around Manchester can do to protect their interests – including increasing the levels of engagement in global policy-making initiatives.

To see the full article, please click here and turn to page 30.

ICC UK’s Chris Southworth on why UK businesses need to think global in Director of Finance

In the latest edition of Director of Finance, ICC United Kingdom’s Secretary General, Chris Southworth, explains why it is a crucial time for UK businesses to find their voice and think global. Indeed, there are a number of global opportunities which businesses can tap into, but in order to do so they need to ensure that their views are represented on the global stage.

To read the magazine, please click here.