Business Decision-Making in the Wake of Ukraine

Historically businesses have been encouraged to do business in countries experiencing conflict because of the belief that development will lead to peace. In addition, greater economic connections have been encouraged between countries and global businesses with the idea it will facilitate peace. This has been encouraged even when a business might be required to engage in conduct, either directly or through a contractor, that might aid combatants or oppressive governments.

The response of global business to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shown that some situations may arise where businesses are arguably willing to withdraw from a location even if not required directly by governmental sanctions. Does the response by businesses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine open such businesses up to criticism for continuing to conduct business in other countries that have been accused of genocide or other significant human rights violations?

This panel will lift the curtain of corporate decision-making to assess when such a company will make such a move. It will explore whether Ukraine was unique and what measures short of leaving a market might be deployed in other contexts.