Research - 26.11.2020 - 00:00 

New Foundation created to take forward the work of the Global Trade Alert

On November 25, 2020 the “St.Gallen Endowment for Prosperity Through Trade” (SGEPT) was created at a small ceremony in Rapperswil-Jona. The founders of this initiative are HSG Professor of International Trade and Economic Development Simon J. Evenett, as well as the University of St.Gallen (HSG) and the Max Schmidheiny Foundation. The core component of SGEPT is the “Global Trade Alert” (GTA), which has been published regularly by Simon Evenett for over ten years and which closely monitors global trade and economic policy. The GTA reports consistently attract worldwide media attention and are used as a reference by the World Trade Organization.
Source: HSG Newsroom

26 November 2020. HSG Rector Bernhard Ehrenzeller remarked “International trade is one of the corner stones of living standards in Switzerland and in other national economies. The research and insights being generated by the Global Trade Alert over the past decade at HSG have informed policy-makers and those in the private sector with the necessary facts for decision-making and groundbreaking recommendations. It is impressive, what Simon Evenett and his team have built up here. The new Foundation will now make the Global Trade Alert a permanent fixture within the HSG ecosystem.”

The Rector thanks the Max Schmidheiny Foundation for its very generous support and active involvement. These prerequisites make the realization of the SGEPT possible and follow a longstanding tradition of the Max Schmidheiny Foundation and the Schmidheiny family in promoting new, outstanding ideas and projects at the University of St. Gallen.  

A Nonprofit Foundation

The activities and employees of GTA, who were previously based at the Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research at the HSG, will now be transferred to the new non-profit SGEPT. With this independence, the Global Trade Alert can further increase its sphere of activity and its impact.

While Dr. Thomas Schmidheiny will act as the Chairman of the new Foundation, HSG Rector Bernhard Ehrenzeller will serve as Vice-Chairman. Professor Simon J. Evenett and Andreas R. Kirchschläger were elected as members of the Foundation’s board. Dr. Johannes Fritz was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer. As a foundation under Swiss law, no profits or surpluses may be withdrawn from SGEPT. Any income and capital are used again for the Foundation's activities.

“Protectionism thrives in a factual vacuum. Monitoring and analysing the actions that governments take which affect global commerce is essential and the GTA has established an international reputation in this regard. The new Foundation will enable the Global Trade Alert to go from strength to strength” said Simon Evenett.

Monitoring Global Trade since 2009

The Global Trade Alert was launched in June 2009 as a trade policy monitoring initiative motivated by fears that the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-9 would lead governments to adopt far-reaching protectionism. In its most recent reports, the GTA has focused on how countries have dangerously imposed export bans on medical goods and medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As seen in the form of countless publications in leading academic journals, G-20 briefing documents, WTO reports, speeches by policymakers and business leaders, and literally thousands of times in the international media, the Global Trade Alert has had a huge impact on how the world conducts business. We at the Max Schmidheiny Foundation believe that this voice is an important one and we are proud to ensure that this research will be further strengthened, expanded internationally and will continue to be based in St. Gallen for the long term,” said Dr. Thomas Schmidheiny.

SGEPT will strive to strengthen the overall reputation of the University of St.Gallen as a source of valued insight, expertise, and  data  on  all  forms  of  cross-border  commercial  exchange.  As a Foundation under Swiss law, no profits or surpluses can be withdrawn from this organization. Instead, all income and capital will be deployed to the stated activities of the Foundation.

Image: Adobe Stock / peshkov