14th ACCA Asia Pacific Thought Leadership Forum

—— Geopolitics, Stagflation and Deterioration of ‘the Commons’: considerations in your Business Planning for 2023 and beyond

Geopolitical conflicts has recently escalated to levels the world has not seen for decades leading to food and fuel shortages and price increases.  These effects are more pronounced in the developed world as of now – with US inflation rate at 9.1% in June 2022, the highest for more than 40 years. In the UK, inflation exceeded double digits (10.1%) in July, and the Bank of England expects this to rise even further.  How will inflation in developed markets affect Asia in terms of exports, manufacturing activity, employment prospects as well as inflation?  What’s the risk of further geopolitical conflicts, particularly in Asia and how will this impact businesses?


The prospect of Staglation (high inflation combined with low growth and high unemployment) is now greater as the Fed and other central banks aggressively tightens its monetary policies. Some of this impact is already being witnessed – e.g. on Asian financial markets and currency depreciation. Questions remain on how central banks in Asia will respond – will there be alignment or divergence of policy stances and how this will in turn affect growth in economies and employment.


Commonly regarded as the “tragedy of the Commons” - climate change, alarming biodiversity loss, water scarcity, polluted oceans and the spread of infectious diseases pose growing threats to life and livelihoods – regardless of where you live or where your business operates. The recent example of heatwaves and droughts along the Yangtze River Basin which caused disruption in hydropower generation, demonstrates that even clean energy brings with it certain risks and that the scale of extreme weather events on businesses is being underrecognized by businesses. Yet, how robustly do our business and investment decisions consider the impact and dependency of nature and climate-related risks? With the advent of financial disclosures issued by the International Sustainability Standards Board – are finance teams prepared for both the quantity and quality of such disclosures?


To borrow the expression of Singapore’s Senior Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam – we need to brace ourselves for a “Perfect Long Storm” where these structural issues - geopolitical, economic, and existential - reinforce each other.


Most businesses typically undertake their Business Planning exercises around October, hence this event is intentionally designed to allow finance and business professionals the opportunity to glean critical insights and perspectives on these critical issues and shape their contributions towards robust discussions on business strategies and plans for 2023 and beyond.






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