By Paul Thompson, UK Director
Governments, companies and communities face two huge challenges. First, how to recover from the immediate impact of Covid-19 and the ongoing risk of future
waves of infection. Second, how to renew national and local economies for the long-term. However, in a global world, policy makers will have to find the balance between implementing recovery policies that their electorate demand, whilst working with international partners that may have different interests and concerns.
From the UK’s perspective, the country is soon to enter a new and uncharted journey of life outside of the European Union and has already begun to strike new free trade deals with third countries. For many UK companies and organisations who need to trade or establish themselves in European or global markets, understanding the impact of politics in EU Member States, the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America is critical. How companies and organisations act now and in the near future, will have major consequences for their reputation and commercial future.
Unlike the financial crisis of 2008, the aftermath of the pandemic is expected to be more complicated and the damage deeper in both supply and demand and across
multiple sectors. Once the public health crisis is truly under control, organisations face the threat of severe economic, political and social disruption. Crucial to navigating
this is the role of national, regional and local government. Their economic stimulus measures will be crucial, but different parts of each country’s institutional governance may not act together or in unison.
The scale of economic damage is likely to mean tough and unpopular measures will be introduced to make sure societies recover and renew. This is bound to create much tension and some very difficult choices. The balance between unpopular measures introduced and the views of different communities will severely impact the political narrative and policy contribution of companies and organisations.
In summary, organisations could face a complex scenario at the political and institutional level driven by very limited economic resources and various stakeholders looking after their own interests. There will only be three possible responses by economic, business and other stakeholders. First, to act strategically to preserve their interests. Second, mitigate the risks of measures to be introduced that may impact them. Third, to forge new or stronger relationships with decision makers to help them tackle challenges through innovation and ideas.
Public Affairs Experts - November 24th, 2020