Population Change as a Megadriver

Developing markets, Space, and the Arctic are three areas where population change and markets are shifting to the frontier. Developing markets are leading the global economy and by 2030, they will account for over 60% of global population and GDP. Multinational companies will increasingly see their key revenue streams coming from Asia Pacific and the most lucrative opportunities arising in the underdeveloped African markets. Space as the final frontier because humankind’s interest in space is longstanding. Ultimately, as population grows and Earth’s natural resources diminish, sources outside our planet will have be found to cater to the ever-growing demand. Is the environmental risk too high to exploit the arctic. In the face of global warming, the Arctic is becoming increasingly accessible for global mining, shipping, tourism and other industries. But opportunities come with high environmental risks and pressure from public and private sectors to maintain high sustainability standards.

Shifting economic power: Asia and Africa are at the centre

With the rising importance of emerging markets increasing interest in frontier markets, and fears over advanced economy stagnation, the global economy has witnessed a paradigm shift. These changing dynamics are affecting all levels of society, from atrisk-of-default governments to job-insecure workers. The turning point was in 2008 when emerging markets overtook developed countries for the first time in their contribution to world GDP in PPP terms. Euromonitor predicts that this trend will continue with emerging and developing countries accounting for two thirds of global output by 2030. There will be six emerging markets in the 10 largest economies in the world in 2030.

The space economy

As the population grows and Earth’s natural resources diminish, sources outside our planet must be found to cater to ever-growing demand. Space is already a big industry with an estimated value of over US$300 billion, of which over US$30 billion is attributed to spacecraft production. However, private companies are taking only the first steps in this new area and are looking for ways to make space travel commercially viable.

In 2017, The Space Economy reached its turning point, as the first private microsatellite launches were completed and exploratory resource missions to near-Earth space and the Moon are approved for the end of the year. If technology develops as fast as it is currently, it is only a question of time as to when profitable space mining operations start. Space also offers opportunities for the growing number of billionaires, who are looking for extraordinary experiences. The Russian Space Centre took seven tourists to space over 2001- 2009, but halted the programme since then. Now private companies are aiming to fill the gap.

Arctic opening

In the face of global warming, the Arctic is becoming increasingly accessible for global mining, shipping, tourism and other industries. The Arctic holds a significant amount of oil, gas, metals and other natural resources. As global consumption grows, it is inevitable that resources in the Arctic will become more important in the future. Arctic tourism is on the rise in recent years, as an increasing number of people want to visit this extraordinary environment. Shipping companies are expected to increasingly explore arctic routes for transportation, as time and distance is up to 30% shorter using the Arctic, compared to traditional routes. However, new economic opportunities come with high environmental risks. Companies that want to explore and operate in the Arctic should prepare to meet strict environmental regulation and be a part of setting as high as possible sustainability standards, in order to preserve nature and maintain positive corporate profiles.