Political Risk: Why the private sector needs to care about geopolitics?

Brexit movement in the UK

For years, there has been this notion that business and politics is like oil and water, they just don’t mix. The overarching theme is that business and politics exist in two separate Venn Diagrams, the overlap is minimal.

Well funnily enough, the oil industry (energy) does epitomize how the ‘Venn Diagram’ of intersection between business and politics is gradually diminishing. It’s one of the more pronounced sectors where Wall Street traders carefully follow Washington’s announcements.

Private sector companies in the energy sector need to watch the volatile geopolitical scenario in the oil-rich Middle East and any rumblings with the tense situation in Syria or Iraq sends commodity traders in a frenzy.

For several years, my role as a business reporter in Singapore saw me conduct interviews with leading newsmakers in the city state. This included a wealth of experts such as economists, market strategists, forex analysts, wealth and asset managers, property analysts, industrialists, C-suite level employees, entrepreneurs, consultants and authors.

In gauging and reporting on the investor sentiment and tech trends, one could see how Fortune 500 companies and even startups were influenced by key policy decisions. I also reported on markets and would see how investors would panic every time there were rumblings coming from government announcements.

In Singapore, I was fortunate to witness the intersection between government and business where the Singapore government’s reputation for its efficacy was drawn on its private sector like approach. The government policy makers rolled out elaborate smart nation programs, worked on methods to increase digital efficiency, had an astute foreign policy that attracted more overseas investments, all this while keeping a sound public policy framework.

Economic efficacy of various states is also tied on the effective synergy between the public and the private sector.

Just looking at 2016 alone, political phenomenons such as the US elections and Brexit epitomize how sheer political events have severe economic repercussions.

If business and politics are in two separate Venn Diagram circles, safe to say that the intersection between the two is more and more pronounced.

Geopolitics at Fletcher School, Tufts| TEDx Speaker| Op-Ed Writer| Panel Moderator| Storyteller| Thought Leadership

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on April 5, 2018.

A journalist by profession. He writes about business & finance, geopolitics, sports & tech news. He is a TEDx & Toastmasters speaker. Follow him @Akshobh

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