2016 was a tumultuous year, with the foundations of democracy shaken by Brexit, the Italian referendum, the Brazilian impeachment and the election of Donald Trump in the United States. The Middle East crisis, immigration, the South China Sea, and the return of Russia as a great power further dominated the headlines.

In 2017 geopolitical risks are proliferating, with potential flow on effects to regional and global markets. Watching the development of elections, geopolitical trends and events is paramount for the Almanis forecaster.

The start of Trump’s world

Trump is set to be inaugurated on January 20th. The policy platforms and advisors of Trump’s administration will dominate the geopolitical and economic landscape of 2017. Trade policies, Trump’s impact on the global market, commodities, as well as international relations will be in the spotlight in Trump’s World. Domestic policies will also be on the forecasting radar, particularly immigration, the Affordable Care Act, and the Supreme Court vacancy.  

Key elections

2017 looks to be a defining year for Europe with populism gaining traction, pressures over immigration, employment and political stability. The French Socialist Primary is being held in late January and will determine who will face off against Marie Le Pen and Francois Fillion. The Dutch election in March could give an insight into the subsequent French election in April and the German election in the later half of the year. There are Presidential elections in Iran which will be closely watched, considering Trump’s critique of the Iran-Nuclear deal. South Korea is set to hold elections by the end of 2017, but dates could be brought forward given the corruption scandal that has engulfed President Park Geun-hye.

Amongst tensions between Hong Kong and China, Hong Kong is set hold elections for the Chief Executive and the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party will be held in Beijing, where Party delegates will elect the next leader of the Chinese Communist Party. The rejection of the December 2016 referendum in Italy coupled with the rise of the 5-Star Movement could trigger early elections in Italy. The African economic powerhouse of Kenya is also set to hold elections in August, whilst the leadership of South African President Jacob Zuma will be under increased scrutiny.

The geopolitical chessboard

The 2017 elections will have geopolitical and economic ramifications across the world, whilst pre-existing tensions and conflicts could be exacerbated. The geopolitical chessboard of the world could potentially be influenced by the actions of multiple powers from the big three: the United States, China, a resurgent Russia and possibly a fourth, the rising capabilities of India. Europe will also be a central focus with Germany continuing to rise, and all eyes will be on the Brexit strategy of Theresa May’s government in Britain.

There are also a series of tensions and hotspots on the radar. The relationship between India, China and Pakistan is integral to the geopolitical theatre of the Asia-Pacific. Duterte’s leadership in the Philippines, a new King in Thailand, the South China Sea disputes, the aggression of North Korea, Korean and Japanese foreign policies are all areas to persistently watch. In the Middle East and Eurasian region, Erdogan’s Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel are countries of significant importance to the fabric of the region. Brazil’s recovery in 2017 both politically and financially will be central to the South American region, along with how Mexico approaches the Trump administration. In Africa, the acrimonious relationship with United Nations’ International Criminal Court will continue to simmer, whilst the political leadership of South Africa, Egypt and Kenya will be vital to monitor.  

These hotspots and tensions are only a glimpse of what 2017 could hold for the Almanis crowd. Start forecasting today, contribute to the collective view, and earn financial rewards.


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