2014 did not prove to be the year the world reverberated back to the path of recovery. Global economic output grew by just 3.3%, expansion dubbed by International Monetary Fund’s chief economist as “mediocre and worse than forecast.”
But not all is doom and gloom. According to new research from independent London based economic think-tank – Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) – the UK overtook France in 2014 to become the fifth biggest economy in the world and it is expected to overtake the German economy by 2030
(previous year’s rank in bracket)
The World Economic League Table (WELT) from CEBR also revealed some other noteworthy alterations in the global economic structure that are worth taking a look at as 2015 kicks off and your 2015 (and beyond) strategies come into play.
eCommerce new boys on the block; India, are set to overtake the UK economy in 2018 to become the largest economy in the Commonwealth with the upsurge looking unstoppable – By 2024 India will be the world’s third largest economy.
Given the continuing weakness in the rouble and the slide in oil prices, the Russian economy has slumped to number 10, down from number 8 in 2014. Forecasted to stay there until at least 2020, the country is not expected to show recovery any time soon.
South Korea is becoming an economic powerhouse as growth continues. The humble abode of big name brands such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG – as well as lesser knowns such as the third largest steel manufacturer in the world Posco – has seen its league table position escalate from 15th in 2013 to a respectable 8th in 2030, that’s just one position behind Germany.
The Chinese government has revised their GDP figures in 2014, measuring their service sector more accurately. This has resulted in China adding an amount as large as the whole Malaysian economy. This, along with some other revisions means that China now looks set to become the world’s largest economy in 2025 rather than 2028 – when it will eventually overtake the US.
Histrionic ups and downs now taking place in the world’s economic landscape, with sluggish European economies falling back and rapidly growing Asian economies catching up perhaps a little lesson in Asian lingo is in order.
Chinese – The world’s second-largest economy still leads the pack in Asia. Perhaps 2015 is going to be the year when you seriously consider investment in Simplified Chinese. As Singles Day demonstrated in November 2014, the Chinese really do love a bargain and are on top of their game when it comes to shopping online – But, that’s not the only place they love to shop. With Chinese tourists spending over £1,600 on average on luxury goods when visiting the UK and the added benefit of the UK Government having established better Sino-UK relationship with China through the relaxation of visa application process, now is the right time to look at ways your business can communicate with and attract Chinese customers.
Japanese – Home to some of the world’s largest corporations, boasting a range of globally recognised and respected brands, Japan is seen as a western style economy surrounded by emerging markets. As the third largest economy in the world – with GDP twice the size of the UK – the Japanese speaking country remains a business powerhouse and a world economic superpower that shouldn’t be ignored – DID YOU KNOW? Around 450 British Blue Chip companies currently operate in Japan
Korea – Thanks to South Korea’s increasingly visible role in the world’s economy, technology, and popular culture, we will see a growing need for Korean language services in 2015 and beyond. Entering the South Korean market is relatively easy since the signing of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement in July 2011 and with a similar if not more famished Korean population than that of China and Japan. As a result overcoming the language barrier, adapting to the nuances of local culture and avoiding social faux pas could make the difference between success and failure in South Korea this year.
India – With a population of more than 1.2 billion, nothing less than a continent in itself, the Indian people speak more than 1500 languages with 30 languages being spoken by more than a million. Hindi is the official language while English, although a secondary language, has become the language of the young middle class. Now, relating to this aforementioned internet boom, with over 100 million users and the number expected to rise exponentially, it brings up a very crucial factor – Are all these people who’ll be accessing the net for the first time in the coming years comfortable with the English language? Although the English skills of India’s population are far better than most Asian countries, it’s still important to consider translation and localisation services, especially when the giants of the web, Google seek to get half a billion Indians online by 2017 by serving them content in local languages.
In 2015 ask yourself the questions others haven’t yet thought to consider. Ask who your message is intended for, and what you intend them to do. Is it compelling? Is it reasonable? Are you communicating with the right crowd? These are the questions that will take your business to another horizon in 2015 and beyond.