Since the end of the Cold War, the world has seen an opening up of global markets. As a result of this, state economies have become increasingly interdependent, to the point where it is almost impossible to survive with an inward facing economy. This increase in interdependence has also come with a significant reduction in international conflict, and overall growth of prosperity across the globe, particularly in fledgling economies just plugging into global markets.
The rise of these new economies and the leveling out of former giants is not a new phenomenon. The same cyclical process which now catapults countries like India into prosperity is the very same one that raised up Europe through increased trade with the Orient, and set America up as a superpower during the 20th century.
Analysts live and breathe to observe and make predictions, and so it is no surprise that they have watched these trends and are offering projections for where this great, economic super-cycle will lead next. Trends indicate that while the economies of highly developed nations won’t necessarily stop growing, they stand to be outstripped by developing nations that are just now starting to come out on top of the modern economic landscape.
The following list of the top ten economies of 2030, as ranked by GDP, is based upon these analysts’ predictions, so it is just that: a prediction. It is entirely possible that within the next two decades, a series of natural disasters, unexpected wars, or new financial blunders will completely change the economic order. That said, based on current growth, demands, resource availabilities, and demographics, these predictions are fairly reliable measures of what might be waiting around the economic corner.
10. – Russia (-2): $4.6 Trillion
Russia currently holds eighth place, and is predicted to drop two within the next 20 years. In the late 80s and through the 90s after the fall of the Soviet Union, most of Russia’s industries opened up to private investors, except for a few, like the energy and defense sectors. Thanks in great part to these industries and their exports to Europe, Russia has recovered decently well from the global financial crisis.
However, despite being a massive producer of energy and oil, there isn’t anything that makes the Russian economy stand out. This being the case, it is unlikely that the Russian economy will see massive growth in coming years. Of course, that is barring any potential surges in the demand for vodka cocktails.
9. – Indonesia (New): $4.7 Trillion
Indonesia is the largest economy of Southeast Asia, and is home to many state-owned industries. This nationalisation was a result of huge reforms in the wake of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, of which Indonesia was one of the countries most affected. Indonesia recently passed India as the second fastest growing economy in the world.
That trend has continued thanks to increased foreign investment, a result of deregulation. Not only that, but Indonesia continues to modernize its growing oil, mining, and gas industries, all of which are increasingly lucrative in the fast-growing global economy. Given these strong advantages, it is unsurprising that Indonesia is predicted to be on its way into the top ten.
8. – France (-3): $5.7 Trillion
As mentioned, developed nations are not predicted to perform poorly in coming years -just not as competitively as the new kids on the block. France is a great example of this. Though not as badly hit by the global recession as many other European countries, it was far from unaffected, and still faces issues.
France continues strong trade relations across the world, exporting a great deal of developed goods, such as chemicals and machinery. Uniquely, however, agriculture and tourism play much larger roles in France’s economy than many other developed nations. Because of this, France is not predicted to be as competitive in modern markets, which are focused on the tech and service industries.
7. – UK (-1): $5.8 Trillion
The UK’s economy is heavily dependent on the service industry, and the financial sector in particular. As a result of this, the UK’s recovery from the global financial crisis has been slow, though its refusal to adopt the euro certainly helped to cushion it from the worst of the Eurozone crisis. Because it remains close to the commonwealth nations, has a direct line with Europe, and maintains strong relations with America, the UK is likely to endure as the financial capital of the world, regardless of where the global economy goes.
6. – Brazil (+1): $6.3 Trillion
Brazil benefits from a large population, strong primary industries, and, as a result of these, a quickly growing middle class. While Brazil faced rampant inflation and widespread corruption throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, the 1994 Plano Real saw massive reforms shift Brazil towards a more external economic structure. Today, these changes have created a Brazil with moderately free markets, strong trade relations, and increasing foreign investment thanks to growing education and tech development.
These characteristics have helped Brazil to endure the worst of the global financial crisis, but make the highly corrupt industries vulnerable to collapse. However, given its large population, combination of labour and service industries, and growing attachment to foreign economies, this will prove to be less of a concern. As with most countries predicted to grow, its international presence which will push Brazil onwards.
5. – Germany (-1): $7.4 Trillion
We may poke fun at Germans for their pragmatism, but that trait has helped it to emerge with more jobs and less national debt than it had before 2008. For a nation which comes just under Ireland in alcohol consumption, that’s not bad. A social market economy (capitalist competition with social correctives) with a unique, two-stream education system which churns out highly skilled workers in labour and service sectors, Germany will remain the largest economy in Europe.
Like France and the UK, Germany is expected to endure in the coming decades, only expected to drop because the new abilities of developing nations to utilise resources and populations will be massive.
4. – Japan (-1): $9.3 Trillion
Like Germany, Japan has one of the most developed and advanced economies in the world, thanks in great part to its tech sector. As mentioned, the trend of the new world economy is towards integration and cooperation, and nowhere is that truer than in Asian economic circles. Japan has long held strong trade ties with both the pacific region and the western world.
Given this position, while the US may be coming into the winter of its economic life-cycle, the increasingly vibrant economies of Japan’s other trade partners will keep it safely in the top ten for years to come, especially as the new middle classes seek out the luxury products Japan is famous for.
3. – India (+7): $15 Trillion
Today, India holds the position of Asia’s third largest economy, and its massive population, strong ties with western nations, and fast growing middle class suggest it is in an excellent position to take advantage of the increasingly tech-based world economy. Though India’s economy has recently slowed, this is more due to political indecision.
The fact that India is so heavily a service economy, but with many core, pre-service industries as of yet undeveloped, means India is prepared to explode onto the economic stage, vaulting it way up the list of high-producing countries.
2. – USA (-1): $38.5 Trillion
The American economy has enjoyed the top position for years, coming to prominence at the turn of the 20th century. After WWII left most of Europe, especially Britain, Germany, and France in ruins, America stepped in to fill the economic void. Recent years, however, have seen challenges brought on by the growth of the Eurozone, China, India, and a number of economic organisations in South America, Asia, and Africa.
Without a doubt, America has benefited from the overall rise in global prosperity, but between the financial crisis, rising debt, and the much faster rate at which competitors have been recovering from recent economic turmoil, it stands to reason that the USA’s time in the sun is drawing to a close.
1. – China (+1): $53.8 Trillion
China is expected to outstrip the US in the coming decades, muscling it out of the top spot. After WWII, China implemented highly communist, centralised planning in its economy, which it based on the Soviet model. With the end of the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet economics, reforms ended a number of these highly centralised aims in China. It wasn’t until the early 90s, however, that China’s economy really began to grow, thanks in great part to the continued opening of newly created specialised zones. These instigated foreign investments, which have catapulted China into the new millennium.
China has continued to build stronger trade relationships around both the developing and developed world, most recently with Canada. Add to this the fact that China has tied many up and coming economies in Africa and Asia to its rising star, and it is well poised to take center stage by 2030.