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Weekly Roundup - New Record of Globalisation, Greater Transparency for Zara and G7 on AI and Supply Chains

Yulia Fedorova

15 Mar 2024

The DHL Global Connectedness Report reveals that globalisation reached a record high in 2022 and remained close to that level in 2023 despite significant global shocks. The report refutes the idea of a reversal in global flows despite global shocks, with evidence showing that trade growth has played a significant role in boosting connectedness. While corporate globalisation is rising, there has been a stall in the growth of information flows, partly due to reduced research collaboration between the US and China. Evidence shows that 143 countries became more globally connected over the past year, while only 38 saw declines. Singapore is ranked as the world’s most globalised country, followed by the Netherlands and Ireland. Singapore has heavily invested in strengthening its physical and digital connectivity to the world, emphasizing the critical role of trade in its economy and its commitment to remaining a trusted node in global supply chains.

Investors demand Zara owner Inditex to increase transparency in its supply chain, aligning with the practices of its competitors. Inditex, unlike its industry peers, does not publicly disclose details of its suppliers. Investors, including Dutch asset manager MN and PLWF group, are pushing for greater transparency. They emphasize the importance of supplier insight for due diligence and engagement with Inditex. The focus on supply chain transparency aligns with the growing emphasis on ESG factors, potentially influencing investment decisions and industry practices.

The industry ministers from G7 major democracies, meeting in Verona, have reached an agreement to align rules on the development of AI and secure supply chains in key sectors such as semiconductors. The Italian presidency emphasized its focus on addressing the impact of AI on jobs and inequality and laying down safeguards for the technology's development. The G7 ministers also decided to establish a permanent working group to study policies aimed at increasing domestic production of semiconductors, emphasizing the need for strategic independence in light of recent conflicts. They plan to cooperate with the European Commission to safeguard the economy and industries in the semiconductor sector.

China's government has announced its economic targets for 2024, indicating a continuity of policies from the previous year. The targets for overall growth, deficit, and inflation remain the same as in 2023, with no additional stimulus measures or direct efforts to boost consumption. China remains dependent on overseas demand for growth, evident in the record-high trade surplus in the first two months of the year, driven by faster-than-expected export growth. Despite a return to growth in consumer prices in February, producer prices continue to decline, impacting export prices and potentially affecting global competition, particularly for European car companies and other firms.

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Dive deep into research

"Contextual reinforcement learning for supply chain management" by Alex Batsis, Spyridon Samothrakis (2024)

"A novel multi-phase hierarchical forecasting approach with machine learning in supply chain management" by Sajjad Taghiyeh, David C. Lengacher, Amir Hossein Sadeghi, Amirreza Sahebi-Fakhrabad, Robert B. Handfield (2023)

EU-Startups Summit

When: 9. - 10. May 2024

Where: Valletta, Malta

What: The event will gather over 2,000 founders, startup enthusiasts, corporates, angel investors, VCs, and media from across Europe. The event will provide great networking opportunities and serve as the meeting point for aspiring entrepreneurs and investors who are aiming to build international tech companies. We’ll have fireside chats with internationally successful founders, insightful keynotes, and an exciting pitch competition on our main stage with some of Europe’s most promising startup teams – selected from over 1,400 applicants!


When: 11. - 13. June 2024

Where: Nuremberg, Germany

What: The SMTconnect stands out as a unique exhibition on the topic of electronics manufacturing in Europe: The event connects people and technologies from the fields of development, manufacturing, service and application of microelectronic assemblies and systems in an inspiring working atmosphere.

Chemspec Europe

When: 19. - 20. June 2024

Where: Düsseldorf, Germany

What: Chemspec Europe is a key event for the fine and speciality chemicals industry. With a highly specialised profile, the exhibition is the place to be for purchasers and agents to meet with manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of fine and speciality chemicals to source specific solutions and bespoke products.

Weekly Roundup