Britain's efforts to further globalise its economy will slip backwards over the next three years because of new immigration rules that will hit the hiring of foreign nationals.
Accounting firm Ernst & Young's globalisation index forecasts that only Britain and America's cross-border activity will decline despite faltering prospects for the world economy.
The report comes as the business and political elite prepare to gather at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday. E&Y believes that globalisation will advance at least up until 2015, with the trend most prominent in mid-sized emerging markets such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico and Colombia.
However, 90 per cent of business executives polled said they feared a rise of protectionist measures if the global economy slides into a new recession – which official figures are set to predict on Thursday.