We’re just one month into the new year, so let me wish you all the best for 2021 – and to our colleagues in China, with Chinese New Year just ahead, my best wishes for the Year of the Ox.

December and January have been dominated by two COVID-19 developments: the approval and international rollout of the first set of vaccines against the virus, and the emergence of a new, more infectious strain, leading to additional lockdowns and travel restrictions in many parts of the world.

The times are tough, but the end is in sight. As I said last recently in an UFI media briefing: there is light at the end of the tunnel. The global economy is expected to see a significant recovery this year.

In fact, the latest IMF report estimates that the global economy will grow by 5.5% and that world trade will grow by 8.1% in 2021. Although economic activities have started in most markets, the challenge is that the recovery hasn’t been consistent. However, the future looks bright for our industry.

We released the new UFI Global Barometer in late January, which shares insights from 457 companies across our industry. For me, this is the best source of data focusing on global development our industry has – and as UFI President, I am proud and happy to share its findings. Take a look at the summary of findings in this edition, and do download the full report to share with your teams!

As an industry, we all believe that our revenues globally can roughly double compared to 2020. This will bring us back to between 55% and 60% of the record revenues we saw in 2019. Growth will return mostly later this year, of course. So for the coming months, the topic of resilience will remain a top issue.

As I’ve said previously, the time is apt for businesses to explore new opportunities and strategies to innovate, to enhance technological capabilities, to equip the workforce with modern technologies, to re-orient market strategies, to maintain cash flow, and to re-emerge as a force to reckon with once again.

UFI is here to support you with all of these issues, and this packed edition of UFI Info proves that yet again.

Best regards,

Anbu Varathan, UFI President