Cecilia Malmström – The EU Commissioner for Trade gives short insight in an exclusive Interview

Cecilia Malmström

In times of discussions about import tariffs, the necessity of WTO, digital trade and BREXIT, the world needs women like Dr. Cecilia Malmström. She is the EU commissioner for trade since 1st November 2014 and represents women in powerful trading positions.

As you can imagine, the women in charge of such important and complex topics have a very busy schedule. However, she made time to join the Global Female Leaders Summit 2019 in Berlin, where we got the chance to interview her personally. We have been curious about different topics that keep the whole world busy right now, so we decided to address some of them in this interview.

From BREXIT to the future of WTO – Cecilia Malmström enlightens the current situation and explains why she expects a certain development. The following article gives short insight in the interview, but you should definitely watch the whole talk on our YouTube channel.

Does the world need the WTO?


The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established in 1994 and has its seat in Geneva. In more than 20 years, the whole world and trade in general changed – globalization and technology are probably the main drivers for this development. It is no surprise that currently, the question arises if the World Trade Organization with its old rules and regulations is still capable enough to represent a serious constitution for trade.

Cecilia Malmström does not think that the WTO is dead or even dying. However, it is under threat. She recognizes, that the organization needs updating, strengthening and modernization. Around 164 members count on the WTO’s function, so there comes a lot of responsibility with that.

It is not perfect, but it is the best system we have – so we must save it.

Dr. Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade

Malmström suggests that engaging actively with those parties, who feel left out from the organization, can be the right way to save it. She believes that politicians and businesses should further emphasize the benefits of the WTO. Doing so, the World Trade Organization can grow with the help of each member state.

We already see the growth. China, for example, has recently joined WTO – taking advantage of the system. WTO does not enforce the adoption of one country’s rules for others. It rather tries to take part in negotiation and write new rules that fit several parties equally. If you want to hear how this principle is implemented for China and the US, you should definitely watch the whole interview.

Trump's massive tariffs on Chinese imports to the US are bad for the whole world.

Dr. Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade

The big picture of trade

The next G20 will be held at the end of June. Cecilia Malmström expects, like the rest of the world, that the situation between Trump and China regarding import tariffs will deescalate. The WTO hopes to continue negotiations and find an agreement that is beneficial for both parties.

What else is currently keeping the World Trade Organization busy? Despite disputes between countries, the association needs to keep in mind the big picture. Therefore, the EU commissioner explained that the EU and around 40 other countries agreed to set up rules for digital trade (e-commerce). Developments go very fast, so the world needs global standards and rules.

During our interview, we also talked about hard and soft BREXIT and what this will mean for our relationship with GB. Moreover, she explained her efforts for women in trade, especially in foreign countries. Her own mandate as EU commissioner ends soon. What plans does this incredible woman have for the future? Find the surprising answers in the full interview video!

Review 2019: Collaborating to Build a Better World

Once again, remarkable women and influential leaders from all over the world convened under one roof to share their expertise, perspective and acumen on how the world we live in is developing and what everyone can contribute to make a positive impact. Learn more and download the offical review 2019!

Martina Eckermann

At Management Circle, I lead the content marketing team. Amongst others, I manage and oversee the Global Female Leaders blog. I am also responsible for the topics soft skills, project management and trademarks on the Management Circle blog. I am delighted to inform you about current topics, trends and creative ideas. I look forward to hearing from you!

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