Americanisation is over

Illva Saronno, the Italian drinks producer, recently staged a business conference in China with its joint venture partner, Chinese wine producer Changyu. Christian Davis was there


AMERICANISATION and globalisation are over. We are now in a geo-political recession – the first since World War II, according to a leading global strategist.

Professor Ian Bremmer, president of the *Eurasia Group, was speaking at a special business conference in China, organised by Italian multinational Illva Saronno Holdings, owner of the Disaronno liqueur brand, and its partner Chinese wine producer Changyu. The event was titled Sharing Knowledge, Shaping the Future.

Bremmer, an American economist and political scientist, opened his address by saying that he was providing a roadmap to what is currently happening globally, as with the UK vote to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as US president.

He said: “Why are these things happening now? They are connected, this is not a coincidence. What we have now is a geo-political recession. The geo-political environment is unwinding. It is the first since World War II, after which only the US was left standing. It rebuilt Europe and Japan and restored global order. We have been living this for decades.

“Groups such as the World Trade Organisation, the United Nations, Bretton Woods, World Bank, IMF are all about Americanisation and globalisation – liberal democracy and free markets.

“Now there is geo-political conflict. Americanisation is over and America’s role is reducing. China is rising – it is the second largest economy in the world. Within 10 years it will be the largest,” he said.

Bremmer said he believes the global economy is unravelling. Despite being a global strategist, he admitted that he was unsure as to what comes next.

“There is an absence of leadership. There is unilateralism – every country for itself. The period may last five to 10 years. There is less support for the United Nations and a weaker Europe – this is the direction we are heading in.

“In 2017 there is only one country with a global economic strategy and it is not the US, it is China. It is writing cheques for infrastructure all over the world. One belt, one road. Chinese banks are giving away more money than American banks.

“China does not want a liberal economy. It wants countries to buy from Chinese companies, not recognise Taiwan – that is the quid pro quo. It is state control, one-party rule. All of us are used to a global free market. That is going to be over. There will be some free market and some state control, something in between, such as Russia,” said Bremmer.

Bremmer cited Israel as an example of the possible way ahead for many countries. He said it is a country and regime with an effective economy, rule of law and independent judiciary. He said it no longer needs Palestinians so it has walled them off. He predicted “virtual walls” inside countries and cited Chicago’s south side and parts of Baltimore, which he said was “worse than Rwanda”. The UK has the Channel.