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Veritas' Meg Woods: identifying the 2020 winners

by Meg Woods on Jan 30, 2013 at 10:32

This in strong contrast to China, where the problem of overheating was successfully tackled head on by the politburo of nine people, and they are now in a position to again loosen the reins.

Faced with a choice of investing in a company with a board of more than 500 directors or a board of nine directors, which would you choose?

And the expansion of the Western world’s economic pie will not revert to the growth rates seen in the 1980s and 1990s any time soon as deleveraging takes its course and as the Baby Boomers retire. This does not augur well for political leadership in the major democracies.

Rising tide 2020

Is the best behind us? Where is growth going to come from?

The past 250 years saw three great waves of innovation based on first, the invention of the steam engine; second, electricity; and third, computers. The past 25 years have been buoyed by the successful integration of the world’s most populous country, China, into the global economy.

We see two major positives for the world as we look past its current troubles to 2020 and beyond.

First, technological innovation is still revolutionising many industries. The internet is extending education to the developing world. Driverless cars (pioneered by Google, in which we are invested) have the potential to turn car journeys into productive time.

Three-dimensional printing is set to transform areas of manufacturing. Hydraulic fracturing has sent gas prices tumbling in the US. The decoding of the human genome is opening areas of research for a pharmaceutical industry that was struggling to find new products.

The second major positive is that, despite an ageing population in the West and in China, the working age population in the rest of the world is expected to continue growing.

Following on from the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are the Mints (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey), aided by the spread of education over the internet. Integration may not be as effective as China but it will be huge.

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