Global trade continues to face multiple challenges in 2023 as inflation and high-interest rates, debt distress and geopolitical frictions weigh on many economies. The downside risks to the global economy and international trade are significant, ranging from an escalation of Russia’s war on Ukraine to deepening tensions between the US and China.
The interconnected global crises – the scarring economic impacts of the pandemic and uneven recovery, compounded by high inflation, debt distress as well as energy and food insecurity following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – are likely to cast a long shadow over international trade in the coming years. There is a significant risk that the Russia–Ukraine war could escalate, and that US–China strategic competition will increase.
In the meantime, the global trading system is under pressure as global competition for sources of energy and critical resources is increasing and more countries are tending towards protectionism through ‘onshoring’ and ‘friendshoring’ of production.
Geopolitical tensions over sources of energy have increased significantly following the conflict in Ukraine. This may be intensified by the net-zero transition and the growing demand for key technologies, raw materials and critical minerals. Moreover, businesses that had grown used to free, global trade have faced mounting complications, such as proliferating sanctions and export controls.
Amidst these major economic headwinds and increased geopolitical rivalry, understanding the volatile geopolitical landscape puts businesses in a stronger position to anticipate, prepare, and respond to be resilient.
Join OWIT-Toronto and Bennett Jones for an insightful discussion on the geopolitical challenges international trade is currently facing, on building a resilient business strategy in a changing geopolitical landscape, and why making geopolitical resilience a strategic priority for businesses’ global footprint expansion should be of utmost significance. Key lessons will also be shared on how businesses can keep a close eye on geopolitical trends to be ready for the new strategic, legal and operational challenges in the years ahead.
This discussion will be followed by high-calibre business networking and a light cocktail.