Meridian Global Leadership Summit

Sustaining Global Economic Growth: Energy, Trade and Investment

Friday, October 25, 2019 | 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center | Washington, DC

The Meridian Global Leadership Summit is the leading convening of diplomatic, business and policy leaders in a neutral, nonpartisan forum to exchange ideas and collaborate on solutions to today's most pressing global challenges and opportunities.

Changing landscapes in the areas of energy, trade and investment will have a profound impact on continued economic growth and prosperity around the world. The increased global demand for energy is a product of enhanced economic productivity. In order to keep up with this demand, renewable sources are increasingly complementing traditional fuels. The U.S. trade approach is also in transition as we move from multilateral agreements to bilateral pacts, while the BUILD Act and establishment of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation signals a new era of global investment. The 8th Annual Meridian Global Leadership Summit will explore how these shifts in trade, investment and energy will shape the global economy for the foreseeable future.

Each year 200 high-level policymakers, corporate leaders and diplomatic representatives attend Meridian’s signature convening. Some of our speakers from previous Summits include: United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, BBC Lead Anchor Katty Kay, EU Ambassador David O’Sullivan, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce and Ranking Member Eliot Engel, Senator Roger Wicker, Ambassador Wendy Sherman, Senator George Mitchell, and The Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein.

For more information, please contact Kathleen Shea at or (202) 939-5893.

Panel Themes

The Shift from Multilateral to Bilateral Trade Agreements

While one-on-one discussions and disputes are among the hallmarks of a new American trading system dominated by the U.S.-China trade war, much of the world is embracing multilateral trade pacts as demonstrated through the African Continental Free Trade Area and the agreed-to-in-principle EU-Mercosur trade pact. The dichotomy extends to the WTO as the U.S. is no longer willing to wait for concerns to be addressed. What opportunities will emerge in this new norm of sanctions and tariffs and how can nations and global businesses best adapt?

Tapping the World’s Evolving Energy Portfolio to Meet Increased Global Consumption

While global investment in renewable energy continues to outpace traditional energy investment, fossil fuels remain the foundation of our global economy and their share of global energy consumption has remained steady at 81% for the past 20 years. At the same time, expanding populations and the modernization of society have led to an explosion of energy demand. History has shown a rise in energy consumption typically increases use of both the new emerging energy sources as well as the traditional ones. How can governments work together and with the private sector to harness increased global energy demand while keeping the economy moving forward and addressing mounting climate concerns?

Increasing Investment in the National Security Era

Trillions of dollars in additional investment are needed to achieve the UN sustainable Development Goals; however, global foreign direct investment flows have fallen for five straight years. Rising private equity and other global assets under management indicate that there is no shortage of capital just a need for increased flow at a time when world leaders are increasingly questioning investment deals out of national security concerns. The incoming U.S. International Development Finance Corporation will provide a public sector approach to drive sustainable private capital into emerging markets. What steps does the private sector need to take to bolster cross-border capital flow? How can global investment grow amid national security apprehension and new CFIUS rules?

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