1. International tensions are reaching boiling point on multiple global fronts at the same time. There is a realistic possibility that this will bring popular unrest, sanctions, acts of aggression or even international conflict.
  2. Brinkmanship in international relations raises the risk of miscommunication, misunderstandings, bluffs or posturing leading to unintended serious escalations.
  3. These international tensions have been further raised during the pandemic, and this will grow as vaccine inequality becomes more visible, and as there are inequalities in economic recovery.
  4. National politics in many countries is creating an unstable and unpredictable environment for citizens and businesses.
  5. Nationalism is on the rise in some countries, and having a raised media profile in further countries, impacting what had been a trend to smoother international work and trade.
  6. Trade conflicts are likely to arise. This could mean some industries get caught up in sanctions imposed by way of tariff or non-tariff barriers. This may not affect agencies directly, but will affect them via the impact on clients, or through price effects passed on from suppliers.