In 2021, the international economy continued to be beset by the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there were encouraging signs of recovery as well. After reaching alarming highs in 2020, unemployment rates in the United States began their return to pre-pandemic rates and vaccinations allowed industries and businesses to reopen their doors with lowered fears of infection.
Foreign direct investment saw a strong rebound, rising 77 percent year-over-year to $1.65 trillion in 2021 across the globe, according to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Foreign direct investment in the United States increased by 114 percent to $323 billion. While these are encouraging signs, there is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding international trade and investment. The war between Russia and Ukraine could have wide-ranging effects across Eurasian continents and beyond. Labor and supply chain bottlenecks, inflationary pressures and rising energy
prices are also persisting challenges.