Home Business NewsBusiness UK CEOs warn a ‘return to protectionism’ is the number one threat to growth

UK CEOs warn a ‘return to protectionism’ is the number one threat to growth

22nd May 18 9:13 am

According to new KPMG study

The rise of protectionism poses the greatest risk to future growth, according to the CEOs of some of Britain’s biggest businesses.

KPMG surveyed 150 UK leaders and a further 1,150 CEOs from across the world about their future investment plans and the challenges and opportunities facing their companies.

Two thirds of UK leaders, and more than half of international CEOs, said a return to territorialism posed the greatest threat to the future growth of their business.

“Many governments and businesses are still grappling with unforeseen developments, such as Brexit and the rise of economic nationalism, which are having a seismic impact on their decision-making.” said Bill Michael.

“There is a pervasive sense of public frustration that globalisation is not working for broader society. We are already seeing the results of this unfold across the globe, with developed countries consider withdrawing from major trade agreements and the advent of Brexit. As a consequence, many of our clients are rethinking their strategies. 

“If world trade doors continue to close, there will be an inevitable impact on global growth; this persistent retrenchment is of huge concern to the business leaders I speak to.” 

Whilst in the short term, protectionism is cited by some as a method to protect jobs, industries and boost local economies, business leaders are concerned that the long term ramifications could outweigh the benefits. Prolonged protectionism can lead to a lack of competition, increasing costs for consumers and stifle innovation.

Bill Michael said: “We need a connected economy, both internationally and domestically, for Britain to thrive.  It must be a priority to increase collaboration between business, Government and academia, drive social mobility and unlock the talent British businesses need.”

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