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Past Event: 3/7/24

Global Economic Update


Thursday, March 7th, 2024

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Hosted by


Baker Tilly US LLP

One Liberty Place
1650 Market Street, Suite 4500

Philadelphia, PA  19103

The FACC was delighted to partner with the BABCPHL for the 2024 Global Economic Update featuring industry and government leaders, which took place on Thursday, March 7. Club Level Member, Baker Tilly, US LLP hosted the event in their beautiful 45th floor conference center overlooking the City of Philadelphia. More than 75 people gathered for this annual program that offered an update on international business trends and policies shaping the economic trajectory of the current calendar year and beyond. Speakers addressed policy measures and structural reforms that leading nations are putting into place to mitigate risk and alleviate pressure. The discussion centered around how public and private sector entities are operating in the current economic climate and collaborating to stabilize and grow. Keynote speakers’ remarks and the interactive discussion offered valuable information about the US, UK, and other economies, as well as an overview of the global economic forecast to assist attendees in developing strategic plans.

Rob Jaffe, BABCPHL Board Member, and Director of Business Development at Baker Tilly, US LLP opened the formal speaking portion of the program by welcoming guests and introducing the moderator, Gideon Gradman, Managing Director, Baker Tilly Capital, LLC. Gideon commenced the fireside chat by providing a general overview of world events that are influencing global economic conditions. He explained that while no one year is the same, 2024 is particularly unique and complicated. The record-breaking number of elections around the world, rising global tensions, high inflation, and a sharp slowdown are driving both business and personal financial decisions here at home in the US and abroad. Companies and investors face unprecedented challenges in a complex global economic environment. Gideon explained that so far, 2024 has been characterized by several factors, such as continuing to recover from the pandemic, gearing up for major elections, navigating two wars, and various humanitarian crises, all while simultaneously trying to understand the far-reaching implications of rapidly developing technologies such as AI, and grappling with climate change and the race to net zero. Gideon’s brief introduction was followed by a high-level fireside chat with leading experts who presented some of the macro issues motivating commercial and personal financial decisions. The conversation began more broadly, first focusing on global markets, then on the US and regional economies, and then on a global multinational case study featuring Johnson Matthey.

Thomas Haigh, Economic Counsellor, Head of the Economics and Social Policy Team, British Embassy, Washington DC laid the foundation for the discussion by providing an overview of the current global economic outlook from the perspective of the UK and Europe. He presented some of the biggest risks and obstacles we are facing, and discussed how the UK and US are working together to address these hurdles. Tom also discussed the UK’s role as an international financial center, and what this means for the US and other economies.

Ryan Wang, US Economist, HSBC Securities provided an overview about the US economy. He discussed how the US economy has been performing and the forecasted 2024 outlook. Ryan addressed how higher interest rates have impacted the US housing market and mentioned changes could be on the horizon later this year. He also talked about some of the key domestic and global risks to the US economy.

Following Ryan, Alba Martinez, Director of Commerce, City of Philadelphia brought the conversation even closer to home. As head of the economic development agency for the City of Philadelphia she discussed the resilience of the regional economy from a macroeconomic standpoint, and what that means for people and businesses operating in the area. She highlighted the economic opportunities she and Mayor Parker are seeing for Philadelphia in the coming year, and addressed how this will impact people and companies from abroad looking to invest in the region.

The presentation concluded with a corporate case study presented by Krista Johnson, US President, Johnson Matthey, a global leader in sustainable technologies. Krista started off by providing concrete examples of technologies Johnson Matthey has developed that everyone could relate to and understand. She discussed what makes energy transformation move more quickly in certain places and slower in others, and what Johnson Matthey doing about this issue. She also explained what governments can do to equalize the playing field. As a UK parent company with US headquarters here in Pennsylvania and operations all over the globe, Krista focused her remarks on what the two national governments – the US and the UK for example should be doing, and what is happening at a more local level.

Once the whirlwind and engaging conversation concluded, Gideon invited guests to ask the speakers questions, and the evening ended with networking.

Special thanks to event sponsor and host Baker Tilly, US LLP; sponsor Johnson Matthey; and partners, the French, German, Irish and Japan America Chambers of Commerce, and the World Affairs Council, and World Trade Center of Philadelphia.

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