The Great Powers in 2030

15th May 2019 | Reading Time: 6 minutes   209 Views
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The international scene is continuously changing. Shifting economic weight, demographic trends, climate change, new technologies and other factors are redistributing the global balance of power. So, which powers are set to lose and gain by 2030?

United States

America is today’s only superpower, and it is likely to retain its status by the end of the next decade. The US retains several fundamental advantages. Its geographic position remains excellent: it has access to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and therefore to the huge Asian and European markets; and its two only neighbours, namely Canada and Mexico, are not a serious threat. America’s navigable rivers and its vast agricultural plains are important assets. It has a solid industrial base and it holds multiple innovation hubs. The “shale boom” started a few years ago has greatly reduced America’s dependency on energy imports and has had positive economic effects, even though the environmental impact should not be neglected. The US economy is the largest in the world and it has experienced a 3.2% GDP growth in the first quarter of 2019, which is a relatively high rate considering its immense size. In demographic terms, the American population is one of the world’s largest and it remains relatively young. The US military is a large, well-trained fighting force with the most advanced equipment at its disposal.

Yet, there are also some factors that may reduce America’s global influence. Its relative power is in decline due to the rise of other countries. Climate change, resulting in more frequent cases of extreme weather, is going to damage the agricultural output and cause other large-scale problems. The US is also engaged in virtually all areas of the world, and faces the risk of overstretching. Finally, some of the policies pursued by the current Administration risk to alienate America’s allies thus reducing its influence across the globe.

As such, the most likely scenario is that by 2030 the US will remain the first, and possibly only, superpower on Earth. Yet, its power will be greatly reduced in relative terms and the gap with the pursuing competitors will be greatly reduced.

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