Source: Bloomberg, IMF, ANZ Research
Bremmer said China is poised to continue its upward trajectory after its quick action at the beginning of the pandemic ensured it was the only major economy in the world to record growth in 2020.
“China did a great job [getting] their supply chains back up and functioning within months” of the pandemic first hitting, he said, noting the country was functioning again “by May of 2020".
"It was extraordinarily successful and indeed, led to growth,” Bremmer said.
Goh said supply chains through Asia are continuing to shift as as a result of geo-political tensions and this change has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
“As countries and corporations seek to build resilience in their supply chains, many ASEAN countries are expected to benefit from these shifts,” he said. “The signing of various free-trade agreements like the RCEP and CPTPP will help accelerate those supply chain shifts and see a rise in FDI inflows into Southeast Asia.”
In Europe, the regional political environment looks better for markets, although a post-Brexit United Kingdom may find itself increasingly isolated, Bremmer said.
“The fact is the Eurozone and European Union have taken lessons from previous crises and they are responding to the coronavirus as one European Union,” he said.
Bremmer said the collective response to the COVID-19 vaccine – “everybody rowing together” – had helped ease some rising euroscepticism, blunting the populism which had concerned markets in Europe before the pandemic. “For 2021, Europe looks pretty good,” he said.
Despite this success, three critical parts of the global economy – the US, China and the European Union – are being driven further apart, not closer together, Bremmer said.
That means "global coordination is going to be more challenging to come by – on climate, on technology, on the pandemic, on the future of globalisation", he said. “And that is of course a challenge for the people who are investing in this environment.”
Ongoing difficulties in the relationship between the US and China were a continued threat to globalisation, Bremmer said.
“Multinational corporations thought over time everything was heading toward faster and faster trade of goods, and services, and people, and ideas, and data across borders all over the world,” he said. “That trajectory is shifting.”