Executives at multinational organizations have to be globally conscious at all times. Local policy changes in one country can have ripple effects across a multinational company with operations in that country. What are the trending global policy issues that should be top of mind for multinational organizations? And how should executives and global government and external affairs teams prepare for, and even use, these global situations to their advantage?
One unquestionable major trend that’s risen in recent years, is the rise of populism and nationalism. This shift started, in part, due to the influx in immigration from the Syrian refugee crisis, which sparked the nationalist wave that influenced Brexit in the U.K. and the election of President Trump in the U.S. In 2018, there are upcoming elections with populist contenders in other major global powers like Brazil and Mexico.¹ Of course, there are many opposition parties and pushback to this increase in populism, but since some current world leaders have this prerogative, this does present opportunities and challenges for global businesses. One opportunity this presents is an opportunity to develop relationships with more individual governments, and build connections in every country, not just at the broader United Nations or European Union level. If you value the business your company is doing in another country, developing meaningful relationships with key stakeholders in each is quickly becoming vital. Having a government relationship management platform that has information on global influencers is essential to a comprehensive issues management strategy.
Another growing concern is maritime confrontation between China and its neighbors, disrupting trade routes.¹ China has plans to create a “New Silk Road” with both land and maritime efforts, with the goal of boosting trade across the globe and ultimately growing China’s economy.² Trade is of course, of enormous importance to any global organization–especially trade with China, one of the world’s major exporters. The ability for enterprise organizations to quickly monitor developments and communicate effectively with their offices across the globe will be increasingly necessary for global government and external affairs teams.
Lastly, climate change and how it affects global businesses and their communities should be top of mind for every executive and global government affairs team. With the U.S.’s decision to detach from the Paris Climate Accord, a leadership vacuum has been left, with other countries now leading the charge for progress and future climate-related policy. According to a recent Forbes article, Europe is taking the lead on climate change initiatives in 2018, with Canada and China rounding out the top three decision makers.³
The U.S.’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement won’t exempt multinational corporations from having to abide by its principals. Many multinational companies will have to “follow ever stricter emissions laws that other countries are adopting, no matter the location of their headquarters.”4
With all of these growing global economic dynamics, executives and global government and external affairs leaders should recognize these trends as opportunities they can leverage for continued success with the help of technology. Through the use of an issues management platform, international business executives can effectively strategize and mitigate their companies’ global risk.
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1 https://hbr.org/ 2 https://www.weforum.org/ 3 https://www.forbes.com 4 https://nytimes.com