Forum on Migration, Trade and the Global Economy

IOM, together with partners ICTSD and Fundanción Foro del Sur will host the Forum on Migration, Trade & the Global Economy in Buenos Aires on 14 December. The Forum will explore the active role of international trade in achieving safe and regular migration in a frank and evidence-based discussion between government representatives, private sector, civil society and other relevant actors.

The event also serves as an opportunity to strengthen networks among stakeholders in the South America region and beyond. It will consist of five plenary sessions, as well as two parallel and one special session, dealing with innovation and technology, regional economic integration and policy coherence on migration and trade, among other topics. 

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Forum on Migration, Trade & the Global Economy

Buenos Aires, 14 December 2017

Museo de la Inmigración


Draft Agenda


8h30 – 9h00        Registration             


9h00 – 9h30        Opening Plenary Session I: Welcome remarks and “The need for dialogue on the nexus between migration and trade”

Moderator: Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)

  • Aníbal Jozami, Fundación Foro del Sur
  • Horacio José Garcia, Dirección Nacional de Migraciones, Government of Argentina
  • Diego Beltrand, International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  • Dominik Ziller, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany (BMZ)


9h30 – 9h45       Keynote speech by H.E. Jorge Faurie, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Argentina (TBC)


10h00 - 11h00   Plenary Session II: “Migration, trade and the global economy – setting the scene”

Moderator: Mari Pangestu, University of Indonesia

Migration as a common concern: linkages to trade and investment

  • Thomas Cottier, World Trade Institute (WTI)

Migration policies and international trade

  • Lelio Marmora, Instituto de Políticas de Migraciones y Asilo, Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero

Theoretical underpinnings versus empirical findings

  • Marion Jansen, International Trade Centre (ITC)

Human mobility, migration and trade within Agenda 2030: Policy and implementation

  • Marina Manke, International Organization for Migration (IOM)

The need for better data  

  • Liping Zhang, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Open discussion


11h00 - 11h15    Coffee break


11h15 – 12h00   Plenary Session III: “Migration, trade and investment – unpacking the linkages”

Moderator: Felix Peña, Instituto de Comercio Internacional de la Fundación (ICBC) 

Linkages between migration, offshoring and regional/preferential trade agreements

  • Gianluca Orefice, Centre d’études prospectives et d’informations internationales (CEPII)

The contribution of diaspora networks in promoting trade and investment

  • Onyekachi Wambu, The African Foundation for Development (AFFORD UK)

Linkages between migration policy, remittances and trade (TBC)

  • Eugenio Diaz Bonilla and Valeria Piñeiro, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) (Presentation of an original research paper selected in the call for papers: “Potential impact of changes in US immigration policies on poverty and food security in Central American countries”)

Open discussion


12h15 -13h00     Plenary Session IV: “Migration, services and the innovation economy”

Moderator: Gustavo Beliz, Institute for the Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean (INTAL)

Migration and the transfer of knowledge and technology across borders

  • Stefano Breschi, Bocconi University

Trade as migration governance strategy? The use of trade preferences and services commitments in multilateral and regional practices in perspective

  • Marion Panizzon, University of Bern (participating remotely via video conferencing)

Migration and its contribution to the digital economy

  • Nick Ashton-Hart, Internet & Digital Ecosystem Alliance (IDEA)

Open discussion


13h00-14h00      Lunch Break


14h00-14h45      Parallel Session I: “Regional integration and free movement of labour”

Moderator: Hubert Schillinger, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)

Regional integration and labour mobility: Specific linkages with trade policy (TBC)

  • Sonia Plaza, World Bank

Labour mobility in Europe: Challenges and opportunities for trade

  • Martin Kahanec, Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Labour migration corridors in Latin America: Challenges and opportunities for trade (TBC)

  • Guillermo Dema, International Labour Organization (ILO)

Scope of bilateral labour agreements in strengthening bilateral cooperation and facilitating trade

  • Miryam Hazán, Inter-American Development Bank (participating remotely via video conferencing)

Open discussion


14h00-14h45      Parallel Session II: “Migration, trade and entrepreneurship”

Moderator: Tauhid Pasha, International Organization for Migration (IOM) (TBC)

The contribution of diaspora networks to trade and entrepreneurship

  • Huiyao Wang, Center for China and Globalization

Case-studies based on successful and well-known migrant merchants

  • Alexandra Starr, Russell Sage Foundation

Trade-related capacity-building to encourage entrepreneurship and businesses at the local level

  • David Luke, UN Economic Commission for Africa

Open discussion


14h45 – 15h00 Coffee break


15h00 – 16h00   High-Level Plenary Session V: “Policy coherence on migration and trade at national and global levels – towards future action”

Co-moderators:  Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and Marina Manke, International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Migration, trade and development policy – a challenge for policy coherence

  • Evita Schmieg, German Institute for International and Security Issues

Aligning migration policy with national trade policy, keeping in mind the pro-trade effects of migration in deepening global integration

  • Ann Linde, Minister for EU Affairs and Trade, Government of Sweden (TBC)

Exploring new avenues for enhanced cooperation and coordinated action at the national, regional and global level

  • Alicia Bárcena, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) (TBC)

Potential role of trade and entrepreneurship/vocational training in addressing migration issues

  • Arancha Gonzalez, International Trade Centre (ITC)

Open discussion and concluding points for possible future actions