Lecture by Ambassador Ezzat Saad on “International Economic Relations and Economic Diplomacy”
On May 25, 2023, Ambassador Ezzat Saad, ECFA Director, gave a lecture on “International Economic Relations and Economic Diplomacy,” which was organized by the Scientific Research Office IMCT, in which he indicated that it can be argued that international economic relations are the communications, interactions, and activities of an economic nature that take place between states or even between multinational companies. International economic relations include institutions that serve these relations and provide tools for their advancement, such as international financial institutions, monetary and credit institutions, etc. As for economic diplomacy, it simply means the states’ efforts aimed at crystallizing and formulating economic policies adopted by states, whether bilaterally or in a multilateral framework, to enhance their economic relations, including stimulating trade exchanges and other aspects of cooperation of an economic nature.
It can be argued that the global economic system has developed since the end of World War II in the direction of greater cooperation at times and further competition at other times. It is noted here that developed countries seem to be more cooperative among each other to consolidate their control and achieve their interests, which is embodied, for example, in the G7 versus the G77+China. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development constituted an arena for this conflict, a trend that relapsed and failed.
Developed countries have returned to their hegemony over the global economic system, as embodied in the establishment of the World Trade Organization in 1995. Therefore, at the level of international economic groupings that emerged in the post-World War II period, we find: the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and the World Trade Organization.
Ambassador Saad also tackled the concept of international economic organizations, their mission and importance, indicating that they are an entity or institution established by a group of states under an international treaty, aiming to achieve certain purposes and having an independent legal personality separate from the states participating in it and which have established it. The organization may be international (the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank) or regional (the European Union – the African Economic Community). In this context, Ambassador Saad discussed the issue of economic integration, and the special importance it has enjoyed since the end of World War II, after the devastation it caused. He also addressed a number of economic concepts and definitions, such as the law of supply and demand, financial and monetary policies, economic systems and their types, international trade policies, inflation rate, financial inclusion, economic recession, and the balance of payments. He also presented the sustainable development strategy (Egypt’s Vision 2030) in its three dimensions (The economic dimension – the social dimension – the environmental dimension).