Select Committee on Treasury Written Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Oxford Analytica

  For more than 20 years, Oxford Analytica has been providing daily assessments of economic, political and public policy developments across the world to a clientele of leading corporations, governments and multilateral organisations.

  Oxford Analytica's reputation comes from its ability to harness the expertise of the academic community to the needs of decision-makers in business and government by providing timely and authoritative analysis. Drawing on its network of over 1,000 scholars at leading universities and research centres around the world, Oxford Analytica objectively assesses trends and offers a forward-looking perspective that is rooted in an understanding of the antecedents of events. Our analysis often challenges the consensus that can easily build up in both the public and the private sectors.

  In our work, and particularly in the Oxford Analytica Daily Brief, the impact of globalisation—understood primarily but not exclusively as an economic process—has been the subject of continuous analysis since the early 1990s.The Oxford Analytica Daily Brief is designed:

    —  to explore the implications of major trends, developments and events for business and governments around the world;

    —  to answer the question: "what next?"; and

    —  to ensure that there are "no surprises" for our clients.

  We achieve these goals through a rigorous system that each day brings together senior academics in Oxford, our full-time professional team of editorial analysts, and our global network of scholar experts. The result, each business day, is eight analytical articles, each one 2-3 pages, on developments of major significance around the world, together with a tour d'horizon of events from the previous 24 hours.

  Recent coverage of globalisation and its impact includes articles on:

    —  Foreign direct investment. We analysed the recent UN report on globalisation trends, which showed East Asia and India becoming increasingly significant sources of FDI in coming years.

    —  Trade multilateralism. We examined the longer—term consequences of a Doha Round collapse for the future of the international trading system.

    —  China's role in Africa. China's demand for raw materials and its global export drive are already having a significant impact on Africa, where they are largely welcomed. However, there may well be negative implications for economic governance in the medium term.

    —  Economic nationalism. The developed world is erecting new barriers to cross-border mergers and acquisitions and this is encouraging governments in the developing world in their questioning of the merits of economic openness. Globalisation has clearly become harder to sell politically, but for local and idiosyncratic reasons rather than systemic ones.

  Consultancy practice. Our consultancy practice helps clients assess risks and exploit opportunities by providing custom-tailored, high value-added analysis. Recently completed projects include:

    —  Global scenarios. For a leading international law firm, we developed scenarios for the world in 2015, and examined the implications of each scenario on the market for legal services. The scenarios considered the interaction of over forty political, economic and social trends and uncertainties. The implications were then debated in a facilitated workshop with members of the firm's senior management team.

    —  India and Britain in 2020. Undertaken for a government department, a study of the relationship between India and Britain in 2020 examined the key trends shaping the development of both countries, developed a vision of an ideal future relationship in 2020, and assessed the risks and obstacles to achieving such a relationship. The report presented a series of policy recommendations on how to achieve the desired relationship.

    —  Oil market outlook. For a North American financial institution, Oxford Analytica provided a 10-year outlook for the global oil market.

    —  Innovation systems. For a government agency we assessed the ten-year outlook for the innovation systems of India and China.

    —  Global energy sector. For a government agency we commissioned two experts to address the same set of questions independently. These questions focused on the five to 10 year outlook for the global energy sector, and how that outlook will impact diplomatic relations between key producer and consumer countries.

    —  Middle East scenarios. For an international engineering company working in the oil and gas industry, we developed global scenarios for the future of the Middle East, and assessed their implications for business in the region.

    —  UK Confectionery Industry. For a leading international food company we have developed scenarios for the UK confectionery industry, examining, among other things, the impact of social and political factors such as spiraling health costs and obesity.

October 2006





 
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