Economic nationalism, Trump the biggest threats to global businesses - study

The rise of economic nationalism, Donald Trump, territorial threats and populist politics pose the greatest threat to the growth of the world's biggest companies, according to a survey of 1 300 CEOs by KPMG

The rise of economic nationalism, Donald Trump, territorial threats and populist politics pose the greatest threat to the growth of the world’s biggest companies, according to a survey of 1 300 CEOs by KPMG.

 

With European CEOs particularly pessimistic about prospects in the regions, some 55 percent of international CEOs indicated that a return to territorialism was what was keeping their up at night and undermining growth.

 

“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, senior partner at KPMG, in an interview with the Independent.

 

“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.”

 

On the technology front, 34 per cent of CEOs said new technology was a constant and pressing risk to their business, and a cause of tension between the board and management.

 

CEOs in the survey were under pressure to deliver results on digital transformation projects, with 72 per cent citing unreasonable expectations for tech-based returns.