Global Supply Chain Review: May 2017

Nationalism and globalism are the key words of May, with nations across the world confronting how the choice of one approach over the other will affect economies, supply chains, and job creation.


U.S.: Lockheed Martin has announced its decision to utilize Blockchain to streamline its supply chain logistics. Adoption of the new technology makes Lockheed the first U.S. defense contractor to do so. The decision came after two years of research and testing, with the predicted result that Blockchain will help protect defense supply chain from cyber attacks.


Saudi Arabia: In the wake of President Trump’s visit to the region, Saudi Arabia has entered a $28 billion defense agreement with the U.S. In addition to the sale of Black Hawk military helicopters, the agreement includes the purchase of combat surveillance equipment, defense systems, and other tactical aircraft. Analysts predict it will also support approximately 18,000 U.S. based jobs.


South Korea: More trouble in the auto industry, as South Korea based Hyundai and Kia announced a recall of 240,000 vehicles. The recall comes as a result of a whistle-blower alerting government officials of 32 design flaws affecting cars made since 2015.


U.K.: The UK and EU continue wading into negotiations on Brexit. Word out of Brussels on an interim trade deal are emerging. To date, the EU intends to set no tariffs on manufactured goods and food but restricts British services such as aviation and finance. It is unclear how employment and growth in these sectors – in addition to the transportation connecting cross-continental supply chains – will be affected. But it looks as though UK organizations in the service sector will feel the pinch.


France: With Emmanuel Macron’s presidential victory, France remains connected with the EU and other nations around the globe. This is good news for ceo’s across industries, who are breathing a sign of relief that international supply chains will not only remain in intact but also have the possibility of further development and growth.


Greece: Facing pressure from its EU creditors, Greece has approved even more austerity measures. While the news has sparked some protests in Athens, the government hopes that 2017 will prove a profitable year in tourism, and that money flowing in from international travelers will generate some relief.


Turkey: An emerging wine industry is taking root in Turkey, and vintners are expanding their investments in modern wine making technology that they hope can make their region more competitive. With 1.3 million bottles produced per year, it’s yet to be seen how Turkey will expand its wine imports and how it will fare in the global market.


Venezuela: Political and social turmoil continue bringing violence and instability throughout the country. As masses of protestors flood the streets of Caracas, the Venezuelan people face serious food and fuel shortages. For now, the city and its supply chains are in shut down, and for residents the situation is dire. The government of Russia is seeking talks to negotiate a supply drop.


Brazil: Rocked by its own government corruption scandal, Brazil’s president is fighting off calls for his resignation. In the face of this political unrest, Brazil has also begun developing a booming fintech industry that might help revolutionize world banking systems.


Mexico: Mexico and NAFTA gained an important ally, as Germany’s foreign minister spoke out in favor of the agreement. Concerned about NAFTA’s international benefits – as well as how its fall would affect other world trade agreements – Mexican foreign minister Luis Videgaray and Sigmar Gabriel hosted a press conference promoting the expansion of Mexican auto manufacturing and export.


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