” Looking at the world, we are facing the biggest change in a century.” The next 15 years will be a period of transformation of China’s comparative advantage, a critical period for China’s rise as an emerging power, and a period of major adjustment of the international pattern. Under the joint action of many factors, the international economic pattern will undergo major changes. In general, the international economic pattern will show ten major trends in the next 15 years. In this regard, we should recognize the situation clearly, grasp the direction, give full play to our advantages, make up for our shortcomings, continuously enhance our international competitiveness, and realize the goal of seeking benefits and avoiding disadvantages in the new international economic pattern.
Trend 1: Global Economy Will Be in Low Growth Period
In the next 15 years, some developing countries will continue the urbanization process. A new round of technological revolution and urbanization will still be the potential for future growth of some developing countries. By 2035, the global urbanization rate will reach 61.7%, which will be an important driving force for future global economic growth.
However, what needs to be seen is that the global economic growth is facing many constraints such as slowing population growth, accelerating aging and increasingly strict environmental protection, and the overall global economic growth may not be able to return to the historical average level. First, the slowing down of population growth and the intensification of aging will become important factors that will drag down the economic growth of developed countries and some developing countries. According to the forecast, the global population will increase from 7.35 billion in 2015 to 8.89 billion in 2035 and 9.77 billion in 2050, and the proportion of the world’s elderly population ( over 65 years old ) will increase from 8.3% in 2015 to 13.0% in 2035 and 15.8% in 2050. Second, in the field of energy resources utilization, the emergence of new technologies will change the pattern of global energy supply and industrial division of labor. Third, although globalization will continue to deepen in the long run, it faces many challenges in the near future.
Considering the changes of major basic factors such as technology, urbanization, population and environment, we believe that the growth rate of the global economy will show a trend of decline and may maintain a relatively low growth rate for a long period of time in the future. From 2020 to 2035, the average global economic growth rate will be about 2.6%. The growth rate of developed economies will probably slow down further, with the overall growth rate of about 1.7%, which is lower than the average growth rate in the past 50 years. The growth rate of developing countries has declined and the average annual growth rate will reach about 4.9%.
The multipolarization of the global economic structure will be more obvious.
The trend of multipolarization in the global economic pattern in the next 15 years is mainly reflected in:
With the rise of emerging economies, developing countries play a more important role in the global economy. Some Asian and African countries may become leaders in global economic growth. By 2035, the GDP of developing countries will exceed that of developed economies, accounting for nearly 60% of the global economy and investment. The focus of global economic growth will shift from Europe and the United States to Asia and spill over to other developing countries and regions. The United States, Japan and the European Union will remain the major economic powers in the world and the strength of emerging economies will continue to rise.
The United States will maintain its position as a global superpower. In the short term, US consumer demand is expected to be further released and become a key factor supporting economic growth. The population of the United States will maintain a low growth rate. By 2035, the elderly population will exceed the number of minors for the first time. By 2050, the total population will approach 400 million. According to the Federal Reserve’s forecast, the long-term GDP growth rate in the United States is about 2%. The research group predicts that China’s economic position will be more important in the future and the United States will continue to maintain its status as a global superpower.
In the next 15 years, Europe and Japan will remain important economies in the world, but their status will decline. According to the calculation of the research group, by 2035, only one European country ( Germany ) will be left in the world’s seven largest economies, and Europe as a whole will still occupy an important position in the global economy. Japan’s economic growth rate will remain low for a long time to come, and Japan’s economic ranking is expected to be around the fifth in 2035.
New Technology Revolution Will Reshape Industrial Pattern
The industrial revolution triggered by the new round of technological revolution, represented by information technology and digital technology, will show the characteristics of intelligent production mode, platform-based industrial organization, and openness of technological innovation, and will also have a comprehensive and profound impact on the global division of labor.
It is expected that in the next 15 years, the development of information technology and emerging digital economy will provide opportunities for the late-developing economies to catch up. The rise of digital economy will speed up the diffusion of knowledge to developing countries, contribute to localized production and boost the industrialization process of developing countries. At the same time, information technology is changing industrial characteristics. Some labor-intensive industries will be transformed into capital-intensive and technology-intensive industries. This will not only change the global distribution of capital-intensive and technology-intensive industries, but also accelerate the transformation and development of late-developing economies. The combination of information technology and the advantages of resources in the latecomer economies can strengthen the advantages of the latecomer economies.
International trade will be characterized by digitalization, etc.
In the future, the deepening of economic globalization and the deepening of international division of labor will continue to be an important driving force for the sustainable development of international trade. The future development of global trade will present new trends and characteristics. The main manifestations are: the form of international trade has changed, and the proportion of trade in digital products, services and intra-industry trade will increase significantly. The way of trade has changed. With the promotion of information technology, cross-border electronic commerce will develop rapidly. The new way of international trade will give birth to a new regulatory model. The global trade pattern will change and the regionalization of the international division of labor value chain will be further strengthened. Emerging economies rise in global trade. The global trade imbalance will peak around 2030 and then gradually improve. International trade rules place more emphasis on high standards and high levels of facilitation and liberalization.
New Trend in Cross – border Investment Rule Making
Making cross-border investment rules will be an important part of the improvement of the global economic governance system in the next 20 years. Cross – border investment rules have been continuously improved. Liberalization and facilitation will continue to improve. The amount of global cross-border investment will rise in volatility. In cross-border investment, the proportion of service industry increased while that of manufacturing industry decreased. The proportion of tangible assets investment decreased while the proportion of intangible assets investment increased. Multinational companies will continue to be the major force in global cross-border investment and value chain layout. The number of multinational companies in emerging economies will continue to rise. The position of developing economies in cross-border investment continues to rise.
Global population aging accelerates
Global population development is undergoing profound adjustments. Population growth has generally slowed down, fertility levels in the world have generally declined, especially in developing countries, some of which have been at low fertility levels for a long time. Health conditions have improved significantly and the life expectancy of the population has increased. Judging from the population distribution, the global population growth in the next 20 years will mainly come from developing countries. Fertility rate will still face a downward trend. The aging of the population has accelerated, developed countries have entered a stage of deep aging, and developing countries are also showing an aging trend as a whole. The global average expected number of years of schooling continues to rise, but the growth rate has declined significantly in recent years, and the progress rate in low-income countries is relatively slow.
It should also be noted that global per capita national income is expected to reach a range of US $ 16,000 to US $ 18,000 by 2035. Weakening of technological advantages and aging of population in developed countries will continue. Emerging countries represented by China will still maintain their comparative advantages of accelerating technological progress and abundant labor resources. The trend of narrowing the income gap between high-income countries and low-income countries will continue. With the increase of per capita income, the middle-income group will expand. Regionally, half of the current middle class is concentrated in developed economies in Europe and the United States, while about two thirds will be concentrated in Asian countries and regions by 2030, with an estimated population of over 3.2 billion.
Green Development Becomes Important Orientation
In recent years, the carbon productivity, energy productivity and raw material productivity of major developed countries in the world have been improved. At the same time, society has a broad foundation for realizing green development and coping with climate change. However, the vast majority of developing countries still face the severe challenge of how to achieve a coordinated balance between economic development and environmental protection.
Looking forward to 2035, in order to achieve the goal of sustainable development and promote the development of the world economy, the green development of pollution control and low-carbon transformation is becoming the mainstream of economic development in all countries. Green development has an important impact on the international economic structure. It will form a reverse mechanism for technological innovation, industrial development and pollution reduction, promote green innovation and green industry development, and form new economic growth points.
The global energy structure and pattern will change profoundly.
The structure of energy supply and demand is undergoing profound changes. One is cleaning. Major breakthroughs in unconventional oil and gas extraction technologies have greatly improved the supply capacity of oil and gas resources, and global natural gas is expected to grow by about 45% by 2040. The second is low carbonization. The cost of renewable energy has dropped significantly and will be on line with conventional fossil energy parity around 2020. Third, electrification. Electricity will play a more prominent role in the global energy system in the future. Fourth, digitalization. The wide application of digital technology in energy supply and demand will improve energy supply capacity, reduce costs, improve energy efficiency and save costs. Distributed energy will become a new mode of energy supply.
The pattern of global energy supply and demand will undergo profound changes. Judging from the pattern of global energy demand, according to the forecast of international agencies, global energy demand is expected to increase by about 30% by 2035. Developing countries, especially the ” the belt and road initiative” region, will become the center of global energy demand growth in the future, and Asia will become the major importer of global oil and natural gas. Judging from the global energy supply pattern, in addition to OPEC, Russia and other traditional major energy exporters, the United States will become a new global energy supplier.
Overall, global food security has improved
Global agricultural resources have great potential and are conducive to ensuring global food security. According to calculations by relevant agencies, there is still a very significant potential arable land scale in the global land resources. The actual agricultural arable land available for development in the world has reached 3.5 billion hectares, and 1.467 billion hectares of potential arable land have not been effectively utilized. If we consider the progress of production technology and the continuous improvement of crop adaptability, there are still 2.6 billion hectares of potential agricultural land in the world that have not been effectively developed and utilized.
Overall, the overall situation of global food security will improve in 2035. Driven by population growth and economic growth, global food consumption will continue to grow in the future. At the same time, the pattern of food supply and demand has been adjusted, and international trade in food has continued to grow. However, the food security situation in some regions is still grim, and the problem of regional imbalance is even more prominent.
International Financial Center Will Be Diversified
Diversification of international currencies. By 2035, the United States will remain the country with the greatest comprehensive influence on the world and the dollar will remain at the core of the international monetary system. With the deepening of economic globalization, more and more economies have entered the international monetary system. The coverage of the international monetary system has also been greatly expanded, and the international currency has gradually diversified. The application scope of super-sovereign reserve currency will become wider and more supported by the international community. The financial security mechanism in the international monetary system has been strengthened from different channels.
Diversification of international financial centers. The financial center cities of emerging market countries represented by Shanghai have risen slowly in the global financial system and compete directly with the cities of developed countries with similar rankings. However, London and new york will remain major international financial centers. The trend of dividing financial centers by region is gradually increasing.