What will 2013 bring? Final thoughts

Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 15:50

All this week I’ve been blogging on what we can expect to happen during 2013 across the world’s regions.

Will there be a shift in the balance of political power as the BRICS continue their meteoric rise? And will the global economic crisis ever end? These are some of the big questions hanging over us as 2012 draws to a close.

In 2013, we can probably expect the world economy to continue meandering along sluggishly.  If demand picks up in Asia and the BRICS countries, we might shake the long slump since the financial crisis – unless the Europeans slip up in their continuing effort to keep disaster two steps away.

The good news is that, with discussions about reforms to global tax practices, there might be some genuine reforms on the table, ones that would help both developing and developed countries.

While that probably won’t get decided in 2013, it could be a pivotal year for making progress toward those decisions in 2014. The geopolitical story, at the most general level, will likely be that, again, the players making waves at the global level will not be Europe, the US, or the G8 countries more generally, but the middle-income countries.

We all know China is a major player now, but we should also recognize that on the diplomatic stage, at international institutions, and in global hotspots such as the Middle East, many of the new moves will be coming from countries like Turkey, Brazil, Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, Colombia, and even tiny outliers like Qatar. 

This ongoing shift in global power dynamics is why ActionAid is concentrating so much attention on new formations like BRICS and the G20 leaders summit.