The expert’s view: Andrew Spannaus

On 4 May, the so-called ‘phase 2’ began in Italy, the deconfliction with the restart of most production activities. We at bbrand, who continued to work in the central months of the pandemic by adopting smartworking, are also asking ourselves some questions about the recovery, always looking positively at the challenges that the emergency situation has brought us.

During this period, we have had the opportunity to bring to the attention of our audience issues that are often overlooked, such as Crisis Management, we have admired beautiful cases of Real-time Marketing, and we have invested in distance learning in order to be better prepared and to provide tailor-made services for the companies we work with every day.

Vis-à-Vis with Andrew Spannaus. The impacts of the crisis on value chains.

Today we want to look to the future and talk about the economic scenarios that will be drawn in the recovery with a journalist-analyst, as well as a great expert on real economy and geopolitics and member of the Foreign Press Association in Italy, Andrew Spannaus, founder of the portal.

In addition to a brief comment on the current situation, we asked him to reflect on the impact of the crisis on the strategic models of Italian companies, with particular attention to the supply chain. How will the way of producing and working in our country change?

The coronavirus crisis occurs in the context of a rethinking of the mechanisms of globalisation that has already been underway for some years. Since 2016, political pressures related to the emergence of various forms of populism have exploded, finding their fertile ground in the decline of the middle class, due to the difficulties of manufacturing in the West, and the increased weight of speculative finance.

In addition to the social demand for more protection from a system that has promoted low costs and precariousness, there is now a new awareness of the vulnerability of value chains in many sectors. The desire to pursue a rebalancing of international trade will gain even more strength: it means an acceleration of the attempt at decoupling between the United States and China, and for a country like Italy, both internal and external opportunities. It will take a careful eye to the formation of new barriers and even new trade blocs.

On the other hand, nation states have already started to intervene to support strategic sectors, a concept that will only expand in the coming years. And for Italy, it will be even more important to enhance its ability to exploit short supply chains and its propensity for quality. The biggest question is how the European Union will change. At the moment European policy is showing all its weakness, arguing for months before acting, and being unable to implement an effective monetary policy along the lines of what we see in the US, UK and Japan.

At this rate, not only will we be late in addressing the economic challenge, but we will pay for years of inadequate response at this time. Either Europe shifts gears, or individual states will have to take the initiative to revive an economy hit hard by the coronavirus in the days of globalisation.