News & Views

“Slowbalization” and trade wars: the key economic and political trends impacting global business

Paul Marmor, Head of International Litigation, appeared at the Alliott Group worldwide annual conference in Madrid, as part of a panel discussing key economic and political trends impacting on global business, hosted and led by journalist and broadcaster, Declan Curry.  Declan gave a presentation on the shorter-term issues relating to business, the economy and politics around the world, specifically: Brexit, the German economic slow-down, China’s economic revival, potential US recession in 2020 and the China/US trade war and its impact on supply chains.

Members of the panel picked up on various themes, and Paul gave a high-level view on Brexit and its impact on business in the UK, with the message that British business is certainly looking for a deal to be concluded sooner rather than later, and a more general sense of fatigue that has crept in across the board.

Richard Kaplan, Corporate Partner with Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe LLP, New York, gave his perspective on greater intervention on foreign investment by the Trump administration, while Kathie Gaber, Co-Head of Immigration at Masuda Funai, Chicago, gave her view on the effects of some of the Trump administration’s policies on their foreign owned manufacturing clients and immigration consequences of new US polices.

Selim Ozutez of ICS Bagimsiz Denetim, Istanbul, gave a view from Turkey which has entered stagflation after a recession in the past years explaining the risk associated with its vulnerability on foreign currency based on high foreign debt and trade deficit and how a no deal Brexit could affect the country further both politically and economically. He also added both the relations with EU and the Trade war between the US and China has directed the country to face more towards Asia.

Luc Lamy of TaxConsult gave a view from Brussels, Belgium for a desire to see a deal concluded with the UK, but also a sense that life would continue for the European Union’s remaining members, and that there were other pressing issues to be addressed.

David Baumgartner, Managing Partner of Baumgartners of Melbourne, Australia, suggested that there were prospects for closer ties between the Australasian region and the UK post-Brexit, though other issues in the region certainly had more importance, such as the emergence of China and its place not just as a regional force but also as a world super-power.

The panel also discussed the emergence of artificial intelligence and its impact on the world of professional services, relating specifically to the law and accountancy professions, with Paul taking a progressive view that we are embracing AI, especially in his area of litigation and large-scale disclosure, explaining the background of the so-called “battle of the bots” in a forensic review of documentation.

The audience consisted of members of the Alliott Group, with 140 delegates representing 39 countries in attendance.

As Declan Curry concluded: “We had a pretty robust and wide-ranging discussion, putting the world to rights on some quite testing areas, and I was delighted to host this panel for the Alliott Group.  It was refreshing to hear so many informed and authoritative perspectives from different parts of the world; it was immensely helpful in rounding out our knowledge.”