Editor's note

Issue 644 • April 2023

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IMF revises up its growth projection for 2023 

As the war in Ukraine enters its second year, it is remarkable to contemplate the geopolitical shifts that have taken place. China and the United States are circling their economic wagons around territories and markets. Probably contrary to one of their initial strategic objectives, the Russians appear to have reinvigorated the political and military relationship between the USA and Europe. The Chinese, who hope that the Renminbi will, one day, replace the US Dollar as a global reserve and transaction currency, have been working to strengthen their already dominant economic relationship with Russia and India. In the meantime, the Dollar and Euro remain the reserve currencies for over 75% of the global economy, according to a recent research report by Tellimer.  

Gas and oil prices have eased significantly from the highs of 2022 but the knock-on effect of lower fuel costs is only slowly beginning to impact other commodities. According to the World Bank, in March 2023, we saw a 6.3% decline in energy prices whilst non-energy commodities only decreased by 2.2%. That is good news for those central banks who need this trend to continue, thus allowing them to lower interest rates possibly towards the end of the year, thereby hoping to stimulate growth. It’s also an indicator of how the global economy has adjusted to the Ukrainian conflict which, at one time, threatened global supplies of wheat and other food commodities.  

In this IAB April issue, read my interview with AASPASA Guatemala’s Managing Partner Sergio Luis Pineda Sandoval about his motivation and strategic plans for joining Baker Tilly International; there is a look at ways in which AI is transforming customer experience (CX) within financial services by Smart Communications; according to Kantar’s Inclusion Index 2022, employees are demanding systemic change in DEI policies for their workplaces; Alex Baulf, senior director of Global Indirect Tax at Avalara looks into e-invoicing trends; Siobhan Wilson, UK Country Leader, Oracle points to mounting pressure from industry stakeholders on businesses to show real progress towards ESG initiatives, by using data to turn promises into action;  predicting that the "green revolution" will radically alter business organisation, Kreston’s Laurent Le Lepajolec focusses on Climate Dividends as a new asset for responsible businesses; PrimeGlobal’s CEO, Steve Heathcote discusses the increasing need for SMEs to re-consider their Tech Stack investment to increase revenue generation and A4S discusses the UK Government’s updated Green Finance Strategy. 

There are also ranking reports and tables for KSA and UAE with further staff and fee tables for Turkey. Do also read the usual news round-up.  

We look forward to all our engagements with you throughout this year. Please do get in touch and share your plans and themes with our readers.

Zoya Malik