Some believe that the 20th Century ended with the global triumph of capitalism in 1989. Globalisation has become the order of the day, and, along with the network revolution and lower travel costs, it has encouraged international exchange and now heralds an era of intense, if unequal, global growth. Liberal economics now prevail all around the world, although they do not necessarily indicate democracy. Public actors have a changing, lesser role. Competition and new forms of partnership and outsourcing are redefining economic areas and trends. In 2006, India and China are already important economic powers. Global growth is here, but increased safety concerns and augmented conflict are producing a latent anxiety. Gas prices are as high now as recent future scenarios predicted for 2010-2015. Global warming is no longer just a theory, even if its consequences remain limited. The Internet and digital technology have brought about new markets, and changed the way that the markets and businesses already in place operate, on both a local and a global level. The unfettered domination of the market has created the search for new alternatives. In a few words, then, most of the trends that will be at work in the years to come are probably already visible today.

Looking forward to the major trends of 2025

The pursuit of globalisation and geo-economic transformation

Scenarios: China, the end of joyous globalization ?
Scenario 1 : In the face of China’s rapid growth, some countries resort to protectionism.
Tensions in the business world become political.
But China needs globalisation and will be ready to negotiate.
Scenario 2 : China and Japan stop financing the US deficit. The dollar crashes, interest rates go up, assets go down. Asians (and Europeans) buy up American companies at bargain prices.

The opening and interpenetration of markets continues and, unless there are any major ruptures, it will bring about an era of strong economic growth. The Economist predicts that by 2020, the global economy will have increased by two thirds over the 1995 level, an average global growth rate of 3.5%.