Russia’s war on Ukraine will trigger a new “world order” taking globalisation into a different phase, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink told an investment conference on Monday.
Fink, who heads the world’s largest asset management company, said faltering supply chains would force firms to seek suppliers closer to home, up-ending the current model.
Speaking at the Investopia conference in Dubai, Fink denied predicting the end of globalisation, as was widely interpreted from his comments in a letter to shareholders last week.
“But what I did write about is how we frame globalisation over the last 30 years is changing,” he said.
“And I do believe the Ukraine-Russia war is going to accelerate a change that was beginning even before because of Covid,” said Fink.
“I do believe Covid really started to show that the world is less connected,” he added.
Companies struggling with major bottlenecks in the global supply chain fear further disruption from Russia’s war in Ukraine, with everything from energy supplies to wheat under threat.
“I believe we are going to see an acceleration of near-shoring and on-shoring. So that still means globalisation but a different framework,” said Fink.
“I do believe it’s going to have a demonstrable impact on the emerging world as we move more manufacturing closer to demand. And so I do believe all of this is going to change the world order in a very large way,” said the American.
He urged governments to think “much more longer term”, predicting businesses will move “from one region to another, one country to another”.
Fink also named inflation as the biggest short-term risk for the global economy but advised central banks to be careful when raising interest rates, which risked causing recession.
“The big question will be, will the central banks overplay their hand?” he said. “It is my view that central banks are going to have to be more moderate in terms of their interest rate increases.”