Complex Made Simple

5 trends that will shape business for the next 5 years

* Trends include Populism which will continue to expand
* Latin America is on the rise
* Consumer behaviour will continue to shift and change


The world sits on the brink of a complete transformation. Those who haven’t started experiencing it yet are already feeling that it is very close.

Residents of the Middle East in particular are increasingly directly affected by global shifts. Take Brexit and the recent US elections, for example. The main question is: What will the next five years look like?

Management Consultancy firm A.T. Kearney has released its Global Trends Report, observing the years leading up to 2021 and forecasting the below five trends will be the driving forces impacting economies in the Middle East and around the world.

Rising storm of populism

The rise of populism, which is highlighted through the Brexit decision and the recent election of Donald Trump for US presidency, will continue to expand into regions around the world.

This rise will create an “unstable and potentially hostile” environment for businesses, challenging economic growth for the next five year.


(Donald Trump wins US elections: What it means for MENA)


Eye on Latin America

Many Latin American economies are increasingly open to international investors and trade, as recent election wins across the continent resulted in a shift in the course of doing business, highlighting the potential of new economic vitality.

The region currently accounts for six per cent of annual global trade, and 12 per cent of foreign direct investment flows, according to A.T. Kearney. This trend will naturally impact future trade flows between the Middle East and Latin America.

Early signs are already materialising. A two-day business forum on Latin America was recently held in Dubai, with more than 500 prominent stakeholders taking part.


(Brazil ranks as the top Latin America trade partner for Dubai)


Global labour market tipping point

While the MENA region continues to feature attractive demographics as its workforce continues to grow, the global labour force has ceased to grow, and there are indications that the labour market is becoming less globalised.

But even in the MENA region, observers forecast that some countries will struggle to provide enough jobs for surplus labour; for instance, less than 60 per cent of the working-age population is active in labour force in Iran, South Africa, India and Saudi Arabia.


(Find out why 7 out of 10 employees quit)

New consumerism

There is a notable shift in consumer behaviour, from traditional retail towards experiential activities, services and digital goods. Behaviour is expected to continue to shift and impact consumer spending patterns worldwide.


Imminent CRISPR Revolution

Only four years after its invention, the ‘copy-and-paste’ biotechnology is bending the cost and timeline curves for major scientific breakthroughs. Its application will have far-reaching impacts on a multitude of industries, altering business models, regulatory environments, and consumer demands and preferences worldwide.