COVID-19 has highlighted significant weaknesses in the global trade and investment landscape. The United Nations forecasts foreign direct investment globally will fall by as much as 40% this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and continue to slump in 2021. This raises the urgent question of how the pandemic will continue to affect investment making, and how, in turn, it will affect global value chains.
In parallel, investment screening is becoming a more topical issue around the world, including in the Nordic region. Whilst each country has different arrangements relating to FDI and security, new EU rules may promote further convergence in the three Nordic EU countries. The UK is reviewing its own rules too, whilst Norway and Iceland have also amended safeguards on ownership and acquisition in key areas in recent years.
In supply chains, unilateral decisions regarding export restrictions, as well as the default impact of infection mitigation measures, have held up deliveries of critical supplies. Companies have themselves been surprised by how complex their own supply chains are, and how over-reliant they might be on certain geographical regions. Geopolitical tensions are higher than they have been for some time.
A key question for open, liberal, free-trading economies is how to maintain the free flow of trade and investment, whilst protecting national security and critical infrastructure, maintaining agility and flexibility, and retaining constructive international relations.
This virtual event aims to explore how the UK and its Nordic partners can work collaboratively as champions of FDI and well-functioning supply chains, and the role they can play in the post-COVID economic recovery.
This dialogue is hosted in collaboration with the British Embassies in the Nordic region and is one of three events in the series highlighting ‘UK-Nordic Collaboration on post-COVID Recovery’. These dialogues aim to build and strengthen cross-border partnerships by connecting key stakeholders, providing them with a platform to address shared challenges and influence the global recovery.