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Despite the threat of trade protectionism and a global economic downturn Globalisation will accelerate.

For immediate release

Globalisation is viewed by top executives at leading organisations around the world as an inevitable, but positive, business challenge that is here to stay and growing rapidly, according to an in-depth study of business leaders revealed by EquaTerra and World 50 today. The findings also reveal that politically - led trade protectionism or a major economic downturn are seen by study participants as the only major threats to the continued growth of globalisation.

Yet, despite these perceived threats, 90 per cent of the 217 executives questioned viewed globalisation as inevitable, indicating that trade protectionism or an economic downturn will not ultimately stop, or even slow, globalisation’s expansion. 72 per cent agreed that it is likely to have a positive overall impact on their companies. Over a third also saw increased globalisation as a challenge, but one that will be outweighed by opportunities such as the chance to expand into new markets, or to improve their company’s brand exposure and sales

The ‘EquaTerra Globalisation Study’, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit on behalf of EquaTerra, a leading business advisory firm, and World 50, a knowledge sharing community for C-level executives, assessed in detail the perceptions of global competition and the challenges of expanding ones’ global footprint, according to over 200 leading executives and senior managers from the Americas, Western Europe and the Asia Pacific.

Regardless of the apparent overall optimism, 44 per cent of respondents also made clear that finding and retaining high-quality talent is their number one concern over the next three years. This was true amongst study participants at all levels and across all geographic regions. Notably, executives based in North America were 12 per cent more likely than their European counterparts to cite globalisation as making it more difficult to find and retain local staff with required skills and experience, highlighting current issues within the tight North American labour market.

While finding and retaining talent is still a big issue for those in Western Europe, their two primary challenges resulting from globalization are funding expansion into new markets followed by growth of competition.

Increased competition from global regions was a concern for over 36 per cent of respondents suggesting that the two main challenges that executives are currently uneasy about as a result of increased globalisation, could have both a positive impact for organisations (access to lower cost high-quality talent), as well as a negative one (more competition).

‘These study results give us a detailed and realistic gauge of how executives perceive globalisation, and what decisions they are making in reaction to that. It is certainly clear that globalisation is fast changing the dynamics of the world economy and this, in turn is driving a worldwide quest for talent across all business sectors’ said Phil Morris, Managing Director at EquaTerra Europe.

In spite of these challenges, participants worldwide said that they planned to use globalisation initiatives to make business processes more efficient and effective (54 per cent); invest in foreign markets (46 per cent); accelerate their globalisation plans (41 per cent); redesign product and service development processes (40 per cent) and locate and recruit local, qualified talent (35 per cent).

For full results of the ‘EquaTerra Globalisation Study’ please visit:

To arrange a media interview with a spokesperson, or to obtain case study information please contact:

Sarah Beyrath (Manager, Public Relations Europe)
Direct Line: +44 (0) 20 7347 5156
Mobile: +44 (0) 7702 915 968

Notes for Editors:

Study methodology and demographics

This study, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit on behalf of EquaTerra and World 50 in February 2008, polled 217 C-level and other senior executives from 19 industry groups worldwide about the benefits and challenges of globalisation. Forty six per cent of respondents came from North America, 39 per cent from Western Europe, 5 per cent from Asia-Pacific, and 10 per cent from the rest of the world. Sixty two per cent worked for organisations with annual revenue greater than U.S. $1 billion, and 19 per cent for organisations with annual revenue below U.S. $500 million. Thirty five per cent of respondents were Board members and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs); Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), Chief Technical Officers (CTOs) and other C-level executives made up an additional 28 per cent. The remaining respondents were divided among a range of senior and middle management titles. All major industries were represented, led by financial services, high-tech and consumer packaged goods.

About EquaTerra

EquaTerra sourcing advisors help clients achieve sustainable value in their IT and business processes. Our advisors average more than 20 years of industry experience and have supported over 2000 transformation and outsourcing projects across more than 60 countries. Supporting clients throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, we have deep functional knowledge in Finance and Accounting, HR, IT, Procurement and other critical business processes. EquaTerra helps clients achieve significant cost savings and process improvement with internal transformation, shared services and outsourcing solutions.

About World 50

World 50 provides senior-most executive peers from globally respected organisations a trusted resource forum for candidly sharing ideas, solutions and collaborative discovery in a forum free from competition or solicitation. World 50 operates Marketing 50 for chief marketing officers, Human Resource 50 for chief human resource officers, Global 50 for enterprise leaders, Supply Chain 50 for supply chain officers and Sustainability 50 for corporate social responsibility officers. Each private community provides its members intimate access to industry-leading peer practitioners, extraordinary business and world leaders, and facilitated knowledge sharing on topics members deem most critical to their businesses and their careers.


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