The changing of the calendar is always a euphoric moment for humanity. As exciting as it is though, world events will be more like just an evolution of the previous year, except perhaps for China, which will see a new leadership this summer.
For one, in Washington, Barack Obama will continue on with his second term, although with a new lineup of secretaries. The European Union will continue to be haunted by austerity issues and economic volatility, with recession not a remote possibility. Chinese manufacturing will slump, especially compounded by a looming housing bubble.
In the Middle East, the specter of the so-called Arab Spring will linger, especially in Egypt and Libya, where their supposedly new leaders are confronted by mass protests and calls for ‘real’ reforms. The increased Western pressure on Syria and Iran will continue to play a role in the price of energy as a new war looms in the Persian Gulf. Diamond prices will continue to go down as gem stones take on new prominence and increase in their value.
Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization will put increasing pressure on the West to lower or eliminate government subsidies and protectionist policies. Emerging economics like India, Brazil and Indonesia will play more important global economic roles this year as well.
In the consumer electronics sector, Apple and Google will continue to battle each other through patent wars and the like, which will stifle innovation instead of encouraging it. Samsung will be bringing the war to Apple on this front as well, rather than the reverse. The tired brands of Microsoft and Nokia will continue to push fresh ideas on their products and services to regain market share.
Indeed, this year will be a continuation of the events of last year. Nevertheless, it is an exciting year ahead.