The globalized economy is being reconsidered. Free and open trade has faced many recent blows – Brexit, the Trump presidency, COVID-19, Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, to name a few – and governments are scrutinizing the security and resilience of their supply chains and trading relations.
‘Friendshoring’, working with trusted allies, offers one remedy to securing supply of critical commodities and materials. The collapse in trading relations between the West and Russia exemplifies the risk of relying on potential adversaries for supplies of key goods and materials and highlighs the risks of dealing with authoritarian nations. Whilst similar steps have not been applied to China, despite protectionist trade barriers in place, efforts are underway to steer Western states away from Beijing’s economic orbit.
This Business-in-Focus session will explore key questions in the latest area dominating global trade and supply chains, including:
- What are countries doing now to realign their supply chains in key sectors? To what extent have they been successful?
- Can states truly move away from dealing with authoritarian regimes and remain in an open trading system?
- What role does foreign direct investment play in stabilizing markets?
- How might ‘friendshoring’ only serve to exacerbate tensions between competing states?