“Deglobalization” has entered the narrative zeitgeist. But what’s happening on the ground? This weekly series seeks to answer that question with a round-up of deglobalization developments from the week that’s done.
1. Billions of dollars in Western profits are trapped in Russia, the Financial Times reports. Those profits come from continued operations in Russia of Western firms following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. But the Kremlin is making sure companies from “unfriendly” nations can’t access the cash.
2. iPhone maker Foxconn wants to double its investment and headcount in India, part of a broader shift in diversifying its manufacturing capacity beyond China. Bloomberg previously reported that Foxconn’s investment plans include a 300-acre site near the Bengaluru airport; the facility is expected to assemble iPhones and create some 100,000 jobs.
3. The Wall Street Journal reports that Tesla and Saudi Arabia are in talks about potentially setting up electric vehicle factory in the kingdom. Sources tell the Journal that this is part of Saudi Arabia bid to establish itself more firmly in the critical minerals industry, including by potentially financing mining projects in Africa and securing supplies for EV makers like Tesla.
4. Meanwhile, Turkey wants a Tesla factory, too. Turkish president President Recep Tayyip Erdoğa pitched that idea to Elon Musk during a meeting between the two on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. Erdoğan’s request seems to come response to Musk seeking permission to operate Starlink over Turkey. As Quartz notes:
“The talks highlight the complicated position that Musk, the world’s richest man, finds himself in when negotiating with foreign governments who can play his various companies against each other.
5. A European Union report warned that the bloc could become as dependent on Chinese batteries by 2030 as it was on Russia for energy before the war in Ukraine unless strong measures are taken. And that dependency is growing by the week. As it happens, the report’s publication day coincided with Chinese battery maker Gotion announcing plans to jointly build a battery plant in Europe with Inobat, the Slovak startup in which Gotion acquired a 25% stake earlier this month.
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