Editorial - October 2023
Temps de lecture : min
Closer, safer, dearer
Regionalisation is gaining pace, a trend reflected in figures for trade and direct investment between countries. Our long-held belief that multilateralism would end and the world would bipolarise is being confirmed. Companies are planning around this, and events such as Covid and now the war in Ukraine serve only to accelerate the movement. Businesses are also having to deal with a return of politics to industrial affairs against a backdrop of resumption of state control of strategic sectors and areas “essential” for countries’ citizens.
It should come as no surprise to see enduring inflation accompany this restructuring of the way the world works. “Gentle commerce” no longer seems to be the paradigm, and the multinational model appears weakened by the prevailing multi-faceted confrontation between the poles of America and China.
« This shift towards a less global but more regional or even local organisation, while clearly increasing the cost of production and distribution methods, also makes them more secure. The price of this security is the natural adjunct to this in-depth reconfiguration of value chains. »
However, these strategies for reducing dependency and increasing autonomy are being all the more easily imposed as a primary objective because the expected benefits of free trade in terms of the convergence of universal and western values have not materialised. Indeed, the current governance of world order is being challenged by a number of developing countries, with first in line China, which, as it stressed at the last summit of the Group of 77 (a United Nations developing countries coalition), is busy building a community of southern countries with a common future.
Over the last five decades, globalisation has represented an extraordinary deflationary movement – at the expense of the abandonment and disappearance of entire industrial sectors in the west. Its reversal will likely be accompanied by a sustained rise in prices benefiting an uncertain industrial reconstruction.
Deputy Director-General in charge of all Management, Marketing, Negotiation and Research
October 19, 2023
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