The World in 2016
The Economist’s Daniel Franklin shares 12 news headlines for the next 12 months
What’s going to make the news in 2016, asks The Economist’s Daniel Franklin / Photo: IESE
Who – and what – will take center stage in world news this year?
Daniel Franklin, executive editor of The Economist, spoke to alumni and executives at IESE Madrid this month and shared his expert take on the 12 key areas, developments and people that will be dominating news headlines in 2016.
12. A Dozen Powerful Women
Women will be at the fore in business, education and politics this year, says Franklin.
Expect to hear more from: Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor; Janet Yellen, 15th Chair of the Federal Reserve; Hillary Clinton, U.S. presidential candidate; Christine Lagarde, director of the IMF; and Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president.
Sharing the headlines will be: Helene Rey, French economist and professor at London Business School; Tsai Ing-Wen, Taiwan’s recently elected president; Aung San Suu Kyi, political activist in Myanmar; Grace Poe, presidential candidate in the Philippines; Malala Yousafzai, education for women activist; Nicola Sturgeon Scotland’s first minister and driving force of influence in U.K. politics; and Marine Le Pen, candidate for the 2017 French elections.
11. Word up on 2016
Franklin pinpoints 11 “buzzwords” that will be in – and out – of vogue in the coming 12 months.
10. Top Ten Fastest Growing Economies
From words to world economies, Franklin ranked the top ten fastest growing economies (in alphabetical order):
China’s off the list for the first time this year. This is down to past growth being so high that significant future growth will be difficult to sustain.
9. The Nine-Dash Line
China’s post World War Two maritime map to divide up the Pacific Ocean, which is now known as the “nine-dash line.” With U.S. elections on the horizon, Franklin predicts that China might be set to take advantage of uncertainty and become more “assertive” in its territory – leading to potential geopolitical tension.
8. Eight Noteworthy Anniversaries
7. Orthodox Meet – Largest Since 787
The first major council of Orthodox churches since 787. However, the planned meeting in Ankara has moved to Crete following objections from the Russian Orthodox Church – the result of continuing political tensions between Russia and Turkey.
6. Is 6.9 Percent the New Chinese Growth Rate “Norm”?
The Chinese economy slowed down in 2015. But even with a one in three chance of a rough landing ahead, Franklin sees enough firepower to push for more rapid growth. Furthermore, 2016 could see China overtake the U.S. in business travel spending.
5. The Five Olympic Rings
Five clouds – rather than rings – hang over Rio’s hosting of this year’s Olympics. The Zika virus, corruption, economic crisis and water pollution now weigh heavily on the already-thorny issue of whether Olympic installations and infrastructure will be ready on time.
4. Four Dilemmas for Europe
Europe has four key issues to address this year. The current euro crisis “lull” might not last. Greece and Italy could flare up again. On top of this there’s the imperative to decide the fate of the Schengen area in the context of the migrant crisis. The continuing threat of Islamic terrorism, tension along Russia’s borders and general geopolitical unrest are driving volatility across the region.
A Brexit referendum is possibly on the cards, with potentially “traumatic implications” for Britain’s economy, says Franklin. A Brexit would also lead to major upheavals in the E.U. and “damage its image.”
But there is still hope, as the “fear factor” might mean that the U.K. will stay in the E.U., predicts Franklin.
3. Three Timely Agreements
With the FARC agreement in Columbia and Cypriots, Greek and Turkish leaders coming closer to a solution, a powerful message of peace is being sent around the world. We have yet to see the how the Iran nuclear deal will play out in 2016, and there’s no sign of the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia abating.
2. And ISIS?
After an intense year with the so-called Islamic State, there are two main questions to address:
Which leads to the final and burning question for 2016…
1. Which One U.S. Candidate Will Be Left Standing in November
Will Donald Trump triumph? Does Marco Rubio really have a shot at office? Or will Hilary Clinton break the mold and be the first woman president of the U.S.? All eyes will be on the stateside political arena in coming months.