Revisiting globalisation

Our observations during COVID-19

  • Governments prioritising national needs over global outlook, as the crisis takes its toll across numerous countries, stretching their healthcare systems and increasing economic insecurity.
  • New barriers are slowing the free movement of goods, labour and capital – impacting global economic prosperity.
  • Conversely, global collaboration in the medical profession to find a vaccine is being seen.

Our predictions for a post-COVID-19 world

Consumers will shop locally

Consumers, who have witnessed cafés, restaurants or stores in their neighbourhoods close, will shift their preference towards local businesses. Local tourism – due to international travel restrictions – will also contribute to spurring the economy, as we break free of our isolation, our open spaces will become top destinations to reconnect with others and the great outdoors.

Government will take a ‘local first’ stance

The customer shift towards local businesses will support the stimulation of the local economy while also driving greater self-sufficiency and resilience. We will find a balance between our needs and our unique capabilities – with sectors including agriculture, medical supplies/equipment, advanced manufacturing and education receiving a boost. This will trigger a local innovation boom once investment capital returns – with both large organisations and a new wave of startups emerging to find solutions to address new problems and opportunities.

Travel is permanently changed

Short term travel restrictions will evolve into long term travel reduction and avoidance. Corporate travel will be reduced as greater adoption of remote work, virtual collaboration and budget pressures converge amid a likely recession. Local tourism will flourish as local lockdowns end but global travel remains restricted – providing renewed appreciation of our own backyard and support for local businesses. Countries will also look to increase their biosecurity policies, adopt stringent health checks on new visitors and implement stronger tracking which could further dissuade travel.

What we need to consider

Will nationalistic customer choices change once BAU is re-established?

Protectionist sentiment has been driving a shift in preference for local goods.

  • Will financially-challenged customers continue to buy locally when access to cheap foreign-imported brands re-opens?

Will international cooperation continue in the long-term?

The lack of trust between countries has intensified during the coronavirus crisis. National governments have acted mostly alone, closing national borders and pursuing differing policies to address national circumstances. If this continues post-coronavirus, it will come at a significant cost, potentially impacting global efforts to tackle climate change and cybercrime.

  • Is this the end of global cooperation as we know it?
  • Will we see an increase in unilateral responses?

Or, will the global nature of this crisis highlight the interconnected nature of our world and the need for global solutions?

Scientists and medical professionals around the world are researching potential vaccines and learning from one another how best to deal with the virus to save lives. Businesses, artists, families and individuals have connected digitally with one another around the world to cope and get through the period of lockdown and isolation. This global cooperation and connectivity could impact science, medicine, art and education, and may well lay the foundation of the new world post-crisis.

More predictions for a post-COVID-19 world

These themes were selected by comparing emerging trends before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within each theme, we engaged KPMG professionals to develop hypotheses on what a post-COVID-19 world might look like.

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