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Brexit and sourcing

In case anybody hadn’t noticed (and we get that this is a story mostly of interest to British and European readers) the UK prime minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty yesterday, which means Brexit negotiations can start.

The whys, wherefores and complexities are admirably covered elsewhere. What’s going to be interesting to the sourcing sector is how it affects the UK’s relationship with suppliers in other countries. The Hindu Business Line has a good roundup of how India’s various industries are reacting, but much will depend on how Britain continues to interact with the rest of Europe. Put a few trade barriers in place and the appeal of partnering with Indian or South African sourcing organisations becomes even stronger (and it’s strong already); emerging sourcing territories such as Morocco may do well, those in Europe such as Portugal, which is growing in its significance to the market, may actually take a hit.

That’s if they regard the UK as their biggest customer; our guess is that people will be paying a lot more attention to the American environment as Donald Trump continues to prioritise American workers over others.

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