Round Table Discussion / Research Symposium: Life Along the Copper Value Chain

Switzerlands commodity trading sector and its influence in the Global South.

How does the global (financialized) commodity trade impact on local lifeworlds?
The growing influence of transnational market intermediaries, including financial actors, has profoundly changed the global commodities trade, "de-linking" markets in commodities from the material conditions of production and use and "re-linking" them to offshore marketplaces and trading hubs, such as Switzerland.

How do these processes affect local lives along the copper value chain, from the mining pits and the surrounding communities in Zambia, through towns and harbours on African transport corridors, through Swiss trading firms and banks to the sites of industrial production and recycling in China?

Bringing together researchers from Swiss and Southern universities, NGOs and the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), these events aim to provide a better understanding of the direct and indirect consequences of global (financialized) commodity trade on local lifeworlds, and contribute to better regulation and oversight of the sector, in order to move towards more ethical trading and production systems conducive to the vision of sustainable development and Agenda 2030. At these events, researchers will present new research findings and highlight key implications for policy and best practices for Swiss policy makers, civil society activists and UN experts.

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