For the past 20 years, the world has prospered from a golden period of “globalisation” in which trade, investment and commercialisation has flourished and the global economy has enjoyed unprecedented and uninterrupted growth. Developed countries have grown richer as a result of cheaper labour costs, low cost technology and rising commodity and real estate prices, and the emerging world has witnessed the rise of millions of new middle class consumers plus hundreds of high profile billionaires, especially in Asia. New acronyms like “BRIC” (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and “MINT” (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey) have emerged (and in some cases disappeared) and bold predictions have been made about a global economy which will in future be dominated by countries with large populations becoming even more productive.
However, everything changed in 2020 with Covid-19, and now we are forced to contemplate a world grappling with political tensions, trade wars, economic decoupling and existential threats (eg climate change and future global pandemics). How can dynamic business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors navigate this “new normal”? Where does China fit into a future business growth strategy? What about other fast growing Asian markets? Where are the future opportunities, and also the threats?