UK importers feeling geopolitical pressures

Over a third of UK importers are feeling the impact of geopolitical pressures on their supply chains, according to research conducted by the Institute of Directors (IoD).

Tensions between China and the US, Russia and Taiwan are a major factor for these pressures.

In addition, uncertainties were exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the continuing fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The IoD‘s survey found that over 20% of UK importers have already made alterations to their supply chain due to this issue. Meanwhile, a further 15% of importers are considering making changes.

Emma Rowland, Trade Policy Advisor at the Institute of Directors, said: ‘The pandemic, coupled with the invasion of Ukraine, has exposed vulnerabilities in international supply chains and an overreliance on countries perceived to be high-risk to the UK.

‘Ultimately, firms are pursuing long-term stability in their supply chains, so they can provide certainty to their own end customers. They want to know they can rely on their international business partners long-term and not be hampered by sudden disruptions. Many businesses also feel uncomfortable trading with regimes that do not conform to western democratic ideals.

‘Whilst it is broadly felt that a complete decoupling from China is economically impractical, at least for now, the fact that a significant number of businesses are willing to take on extra costs to secure their global operations shows attitudes to global trade are shifting.’

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