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While the world trades punches, New Zealand shows the way ahead


While the world trades punches, New Zealand shows the way ahead

IbyIMD+ Published 6 February 2023 in Magazine • 7 min read

In pursuit of its mission to advance sustainable trade, the Hinrich Foundation, in partnership with IMD’s World Competitiveness Center, released the Sustainable Trade Index in November 2022. Against a backdrop of gloom, the revamped index underscores the importance of integrating sustainably conducted trade with global economic growth.

In many ways, 2022 was a pivotal year for global trade, and not in a good way. Nowhere was this more evident than the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

Beyond the human cost and devastation on the ground, the conflict brought surging into public consciousness how easily and quickly trading ties between nations, once the measure and symbol of their comity, can be undone and weaponized.

Its impact gummed up some of the world’s most basic supply chains, from energy to food. As shortages loomed, governments elsewhere raced to ban exports of their own food and food-related products in turn. The conflict came just as inflation was increasing worldwide, growth was slowing, and new tariffs were rising among the world’s biggest economies.

Beyond the war’s immediate impact on commodity markets, trade has become an instrument for nations to probe each other’s strategic weaknesses. President Putin’s move to turn off Europe’s natural gas was the opening gambit…

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