Gathering politicians, businesses and pro-market advocates from Europe, East Africa, and beyond, the Great Lakes Trade Summit explored the vast opportunities for greater European trade and investment with the region; and make the ethical case for free trade as a means of poverty alleviation, conflict resolution and social justice.
At a time when globalisation is being contested by an organised anti-market movement, the Great Lakes Trade Summit offered a platform for those dedicated to making a positive case for the alternative: a popular conservatism that works for the individual, not the corporates.
This conference was an initiative of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE), who recognise that the European Union’s protectionist trade policies have often stunted the ability of third countries to add value. This needs to change. Following the Brexit vote, the time is ripe for reform, toward a Europe that advances global free trade with confidence.