‘Russia-Ukraine war reshaping world trade, investment’

Pakistan Furniture Council Chief Executive Officer Meher Kashif Younis has said that the Russia-Ukraine war is reshaping world trade and investment, which will also affect Pakistan in the prevailing global scenario.

He was talking to a delegation of a business think tank led by Muhammad Azam Khan, coordinator to federal tax ombudsman and former senior vice president of Lahore Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

Younis said, with no signs of an early end to the war in Ukraine, the risk is growing that conflict will tip a fragile global economy into recession.

He said last February, as the crisis between Russia-Ukraine escalated, the global economy was beginning to recover from COVID-19 after recording the worst economic performance since the great recession. He said the current outlook for the global economy now seems bleak, and South Asia will also be affected equally. He said rising inflation had outpaced the recovery in the real economy, adding that disruption in supply chains and rising petroleum prices before Russia’s invasion caused challenges in managing global inflation and growth.

He said that Russia and Ukraine combined have a significant share of global supplies of oil, gas and other commodities, so the conflict resulted in increased commodity prices.

Younis said the current global crisis will also impact South Asia, and its economic activities will decline as inflation is being driven up further by soaring prices of food and fuel brought by the Russia-Ukraine war. He said Pakistan should be ready to brave the consequences well on time to offset the impending hovering threat or at least manage to bear the minimum possible aftershocks of the conflict.

He said leading world economists and macroeconomics experts predicted the signs of a recession looming on the horizon are likely to happen in 2023 with a significant decline in economic activities even in the United States and other countries followed by layoffs in multiple industries.