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Global Business Leaders Maintain Confidence in Globalization and Trade, Says Standard Chartered Report

Trade
  • 86% of global business leaders agree global trade has had a positive impact on sustainable development
  • Almost all (95%) business leaders agree on the need for capital to be able to flow freely
  • While 70% of business leaders think global governance mechanisms are effective in handling environmental issues, there is a need to balance growth and sustainability goals in developing markets

Standard Chartered’s new white paper Resetting Globalisation: Catalysts for Change reveals the sentiment of more than 3,000 global business leaders on the movement of capital, trade, technology, talent and culture and the impact on sustainability.

In partnership with Bloomberg Media Studios, the research surveyed business leaders across 20 markets in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America, to understand the drivers of globalisation and assess overall sentiment.

The research aims to identify catalysts for change to enable a new model for globalisation based on more inclusivity for smaller businesses and developing markets, a higher level of transparency and more sustainable development.

A connected world has delivered many decades of economic growth, higher living standards and valuable exchange of culture and innovation. However, scepticism around the future role of globalisation has grown due to increased geopolitical tensions, the global energy crisis, supply-chain issues and a decline in foreign investment.

Despite concerns, 88% of business leaders agree that globalisation is succeeding across five underlying pillars of trade, capital, technology, talent and sustainability. The role of trade in driving economic growth saw most support – 86% of leaders said global trade allows for more sustainable development, and 83% believe globalisation helps make supply chains more resilient. Leaders also called for a more collaborative and transparent approach to international trade agreements, coupled with complementary domestic policies.

On sustainability, there was a widespread recognition among business leaders of the need for both local and global solutions. Although 70% of leaders were positive about the effectiveness of global governance mechanisms, only 56% believe solutions for climate change require global efforts. Respondents identified trade as a way of accelerating the adoption of low-carbon technologies, as well as the transfer of skills and knowledge. Leaders also recognise that there is a need to accelerate the transition to a net-zero future.

Respondents emphasised the importance of three key aspects of capital – almost all respondents (95%) believed that capital should be able to flow freely across the world, and leaders agreed on the benefits financial markets bring to developed and developing markets, and the need for governments to get behind foreign investment.

Technology emerged as a strong theme, with 75% of leaders stating the free flow of data globally has had a positive outcome. Leaders also called for ensuring the digital future of finance is safe and secure for everyone, and when addressing talent and culture, 74% of business leaders agree it’s good for businesses to be able to hire talent from anywhere in the world.

Findings from a market perspective include:

  • Compared to those in other markets, business leaders in China were the most positive on the role of digital assets in solving challenges around moving money.
  • Business leaders in India were more positive about the role of trade than the other pillars, and most likely to say that global trade allows for more sustainable development.
  • UK business leaders were the most likely to say that globalised services have created significant opportunities where they reside.

Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered, said: “Globalisation needs a reset, and the next chapter must be fairer, more inclusive and more sustainable. Despite complex issues, business leaders are overwhelmingly in favour of globalisation – more resilient and inclusive trade, greater capital flows to bridge funding gaps in growing markets, and for more people to benefit from technological progress. Importantly, we need to enable a just transition to achieve our collective sustainability goals and ensure continued economic development. The solutions to our shared challenges can only be found in collaboration and connection, not in fragmentation and isolation.”

Source: Standard Chartered

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