Dubai investment firm seeks local acquisitions amid global tensions over China


Negative consumer attitudes to China present pockets of opportunity for investment

Dubai: Parabellum Investments, a privately-owned international investment firm based in Dubai, is seeking acquisitions of mid-sized companies in the region amid rising tensions between China and the West.

According to a new poll conducted for Parabellum Investments, more than three in four consumers in the UK, US and Australia blame the Chinese government for the spread of COVID-19, and over half are less likely1 to buy goods and services from China as a result of the pandemic.

The research, undertaken in late May by the international market research firm Censuswide, gives one of the first indications of how consumers may react.

“This pandemic has demonstrated the dangers of Western economies being overly dependent on China,” said Rami Cassis, Founder and CEO of Parabellum Investments. “This is already influencing international trade and prompting governments and enterprises to look for ways to guarantee supply of critical goods and services. We believe it will transform international supply chains and change today’s globalisation model relying on China as the world’s factory which will bring with it investment opportunities arising from reshoring and nearshoring.”

Asked whether they held the Chinese government responsible for the global spread of COVID-19, 77 per cent of consumers surveyed across all three countries said they did.

The poll also reveals a clear link between consumers blaming China for spreading the pandemic and their purchasing intentions. Just over 60 per cent of respondents who hold China responsible for the global spread of COVID-19 say they are now less likely to buy Chinese goods and services.

“We think increasingly negative consumer attitudes to China will influence how major corporations re-configure their supply chains in the wake of this pandemic,” Cassis continued. “We expect many more to look for ways to source products and services locally, or from countries which are physically closer and culturally aligned. Some of the regional winners gaining from China’s loss are expected to be India, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Belarus, Argentina and Mexico.”

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