WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Global scrutiny of US Internet giants such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon will reach a fever pitch in 2018, resulting in new government regulation according to Year-Ahead Predictions 2018 from A.T. Kearney's Global Business Policy Council. The dramatic power that these companies have amassed is only now beginning to be understood around the world, thanks in part to revelations about Russia's interference in foreign elections. As policymakers take action in 2018 to curb that power, there will be clashes between governments and technology companies over regulation and taxation. To read the second annual Year-Ahead Predictions report, visit www.atkearney.com/YAP2018
Also in the spotlight in 2018 will be the future of the EU. The EU will continue to rise in importance on the global stage as the United States persists in turning inward and European economic activity strengthens, amplifying investor focus on "Merkron" summitry. But the Global Business Policy Council predicts that domestic politics will limit the ability of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to enact a bold agenda for EU reform. At the same time, difficult and drawn-out negotiations between the EU and UK will raise the possibility of a hard Brexit in 2019.
In 2018, the tension between Chinese investors and the governments of their targets will come to a head. Chinese companies—both state-owned and private enterprises—have dramatically expanded their foreign presence in recent years. But in August, the Chinese government issued new guidelines on overseas investments, encouraging outbound investments in select categories that align with the country's strategic interests. In 2018, governments around the world will find themselves in direct conflict with the new Chinese outbound investment guidelines as they seek to protect key domestic industries. As a consequence, the number of "blocked" outward Chinese investment deals will grow in 2018, as will tensions between China and the rest of the world.
On a global level, the seemingly ever-increasing rate of catastrophic natural disasters will put more pressure on insurance markets. Although some of the world's largest insurance and reinsurance companies have survived losses over the past few years because they had sufficient capital reserves, the Global Business Policy Council predicts that not all insurers will be able to keep pace in 2018. As a result, policyholder premiums and the rates of reinsurance will increase in 2018. And since less than one-third of natural disaster-related economic losses are insured, the Council predicts that the insurance industry will also seek to expand its market in 2018, particularly in emerging markets.
The Global Business Policy Council predicts a variety of technological breakthroughs and rising rates of technological adoption will open the door to a more efficient, healthier, greener future. These include advances in quantum computing and cancer treatments, and rising demand for and adoption of electric vehicles and facial recognition technology.
"One of the more profound predictions is that in 2018 we will reach quantum supremacy, which will lead to a reshaping of how we interact with technology in our everyday lives," says Erik Peterson, co-author of the publication and Managing Director of A.T. Kearney's Global Business Policy Council. "Quantum computing will dramatically enhance the power of artificial intelligence and data security, in addition to opening up new areas of scientific discovery."
The full list of A.T. Kearney's Global Business Policy Council Year-Ahead Predictions for 2018 is as follows:
- Quantum supremacy will be achieved.
- Difficult negotiations will raise the risk of a hard Brexit in early 2019.
- Facial recognition technology will become omnipresent.
- The threat from the Islamic State will metastasize in Southeast Asia, Africa, and beyond.
- Domestic politics in Germany and France will cut short the "Merkron" honeymoon phase.
- Catastrophic natural disasters will put even more pressure on global insurance markets.
- New regulations will emerge as scrutiny of the US Internet giants' power and autonomy reaches a fever pitch.
- Rapidly rising demand for electric vehicles will spark a spike in global sales.
- Chinese foreign investment will accelerate but will face growing resistance.
- Breakthroughs in cancer treatments will accelerate at an unprecedented rate.
To read the full report, visit www.atkearney.com/YAP2018
About Year-Ahead Predictions
As part of its mandate, the A.T. Kearney Global Business Policy Council continually scans the horizon for developments along the key dimensions of demography, economy, environment, geopolitics, governance, resources, and technology. In assessing this wide range of dimensions, the Council keeps its finger on the pulse of events and trends that are likely to affect the external operating environment and helps business leaders and strategic planners be mindful of likely near-term developments that could affect their industry broadly and their company specifically.
Year-Ahead Predictions 2018 forecasts 10 significant events that the Global Business Policy Council believes will occur and trends that are likely to gain momentum in the coming year. For each prediction, the Council first explains the current state of play and then presents expectations for how it will unfold over the next 12 months. Each of these developments will have an important near-term impact on the global business operating environment. When considered together, they signify potentially profound shifts.
This is the second consecutive year in which the Council has made such predictions. At the end of the publication, there is an assessment of the validity of the predictions made last year.
About the Global Business Policy Council
The Global Business Policy Council is a specialized foresight and strategic analysis unit within A.T. Kearney. Since its first CEO Retreat in 1992, the Council has been a strategic service for the world's top executives, government officials, and business-minded thought leaders. Through exclusive global forums, public-facing thought leadership, and advisory services, the Council helps to decipher sweeping geopolitical, economic, social, and technological changes and their effects on the global business environment. The Council consistently ranks near the top of the University of Pennsylvania's list of best private sector think tanks, and currently holds the 4th spot globally.
To learn more about the Global Business Policy Council, visit www.atkearney.com/gbpc.
To learn more about A.T. Kearney, visit www.atkearney.com.
Contact: Jeffrey Gelman
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