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Global trade has reached its peak and globalisation is giving way to localisation, which is one of the most "profound changes" currently facing the global economy, says Paul Donovan, global chief economist at UBS Wealth. Accounting for about a quarter of the world’s GDP, global trade is at a record high. "This is as good as it gets. What we are now starting to see is localisation returning to the manufacturing sector," Donovan said on Tuesday, speaking at a Sasfin Wealth event. Advances in robotics and artificial intelligence, collectively referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, mean that factories are mechanising, and are placed closer to companies’ consumer markets. Swedish retailer H&M is using robotics, manufacturing most of its clothing in Europe, not Asia, enabling it to respond to consumer demand more effectively, Donovan said. This allows the fast-fashion front-runner to quickly respond to consumer demand and even unseasonal weather. "The fourth industrial revolutio...

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