Side Meetings


International Trade and Health Conference 2023 [Theme - International trade and health: A need for a paradigm shift]


  • 14:00 - 17:30 HRS. (BKK)

  • Venue : World Ballroom A, FL. 23


  • 09:00 - 17:30 HRS. (BKK)

  • Venue : World Ballroom A, FL. 23

  • Contact Person : Cha-aim Pachanee,

  • National Commission on International Trade and Health Studies (NCITHS)
  • International Health Policy Program (IHPP)

International Trade and Health Conference 2022-2023

“International trade and health: A need for a paradigm shift”

24 – 25 January 2023

World Ballroom A, Fl. 23, Centara Grand at Central World, Bangkok, Thailand

Background and rationale

1. International Trade and Health Conference

The International Trade and Health (ITH) Conference has been organized annually since 2014 by the National Commission on International Trade and Health Studies (NCITHS) together with the International Trade and Health Programme and partners. The conference provides a platform for knowledge sharing, networking, capacity building, and policy recommendations. The outcomes of the conference have been provided to relevant agencies as input for policy decisions and their relevant work.

2. International Trade and Health Conference 2022-2023

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we experienced seismic changes in international trade influenced by various factors, such as the shift in policy of the world's major powers towards global trade liberalization. At the time, the focus was on the trade war between the major powers, Brexit, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, ASEAN Connectivity 2025, the growing role of India and Japan, and  major free trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Transpacific Partnership (CPTPP).

During the global pandemic of COVID-19 over the past three years, international trade has been severely affected. And never before has the interconnection between trade and health been more obvious and significant. It is clear that the world was not readily prepared for such a situation, giving the large scale of the impact on all sectors and all aspects.

In addition, changes in geopolitics, technology disruptions, concerns about energy consumption,  the use of environmental protection as a barrier to trade, and changes in new trade rules have  significant  implications for international trade. Linking international trade and health would therefore be more challenging. The inequality in access to medicines, treatments, and vaccines that we witnessed during the pandemic confirms the need for a better global health system and global governance.  Moreover, the role of the main global institutions responsible for governing international trade (the World Trade Organization: WTO) and health (World Health Organization: WHO) has been competed by many other players.

Given this situation and factors,  a paradigm shift is needed to see trade liberalization as an opportunity for trade and  health development and how these sectors can complement each other.

This will broaden the scope of trade beyond its traditional aspects  and facilitate  the trade and health sectors to be more collaborative rather than competitive.’

The International Trade and Health (ITH) Conference 2022-2023 will discuss the aforementioned issues and explore whether we can shift the paradigm of how we view trade and health considering the most important factor and the current situation. It is expected to identify evidence, actions, and needed capacity to provide input to prepare for international trade and health in the future.

The conference consists of the following five sessions:

Session 1:   International trade and health outlooks: the needed paradigm shift

Session 2:   International trade and health preparedness for public health threats

Session 3:   Geopolitics and international trade and its implications on health

Session 4:   [New] global governance of international trade: challenges and opportunities for health  

Session 5:   National level initiatives in support of the new development of international trade and health: What capacity is needed?

1. To discuss future international trade and health taking into account major factors of influence and current situation.

2. To identify evidence, actions and capacity needed to make a paradigm shift towards  future international trade and health development

3. To expand network on international trade and health