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A fifth of British importers have altered supply chains due to geopolitical pressures


The Institute of Directors has published new research revealing that 35% of UK importers feel impacted by geopolitical pressures, particularly in relation to China, and are subsequently examining their supply chains.

One in five importers have already made alterations to their supply chain, and a further 15% are considering making alterations.

Emma Rowland, Trade Policy Advisor at the Institute of Directors, said: “It is clear businesses are sensing geopolitical shaped clouds on the horizon, particularly whilst China’s standing with the US, Russia and Taiwan remains uncertain. 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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