Americanisation is over

“If I had spoken a year ago, I would have said the geo-political recession was five to 10 years away. Since America elected Trump, it is here now,” said Bremmer.

As with tackling climate change, Bremmer said it will take a period before the growth of inequality in the world will be attended to. The growth of India and China, with emerging middle classes, is causing resentment and instability among unskilled, uneducated, white men in the US and Europe.

Bremmer said Trump was successful with this group because he recognised ‘me as a person’. A lot of Americans felt that the government was lying to them, not representing them, so they voted for someone who was not ‘one of them’.

He warned that if the symptoms are not dealt with countries can become ungovernable and fall apart, such as in Yemen and Libya, where there is no longer the ability for people to make a living and provide food.

He said strong leadership was required and Asian nations such as India, China, Indonesia and the Philippines were providing economic reform and were not corrupt. The leaders were clean and had a clear focus on execution and building of infrastructure.

*The Eurasia Group describes its “transnational practices” as “emerging markets strategy, comparative analytics, global strategy, and global macro politics – identify and assess trends and interactions across regions”.


Spiros Malandrakis, research director of the market research organisation Euromonitor, told the conference, which was held at Changyu’s Reina Castle near the city of Xi’an, that, globally, people were drinking less but drinking better. The North American and Asia Pacific markets were in positive growth but Europe, while massive, was stagnant.

He pointed to the success of Prosecco in the sparkling wine sector and the premiumisation of spirits.

Blended scotch whisky was stagnating as it came under pressure from whiskies from Japan, Ireland, the US and even possibly Canada, he said. Vodka is facing maturity and is struggling in the face of the interest in gin, particularly craft gins.

He said in China wine consumption is growing faster than spirits because it is perceived as healthier with lower alcohol levels. India is also showing growth in wine and RTDs while

millennials in the US are more adventurous, looking for diversity and prepared to pay more, predicted Malandrakis.

Citing interesting new products, he chose: Bacardi’s Tang liqueur made with Chinese tea, which mixes western drinking with China’s tea drinking habit; Diageo’s Seedlip, which is a non-alcoholic drink made and looking like gin; Humboldt Finest, a cannabis-infused vodka; Spain’s Gik wine, which is coloured blue; Pernod Ricard’s Barrelhound blended scotch; and Treasury Wine Estates’ 19 Crimes, referring to the crimes in 19th-century Britain which were punishable by transportation to the then colonies, such as Australia.


Illva Saronno Spirits’ managing director Stefano Battioni told the conference the Italian company had branches in Switzerland, Netherlands and the US. It has a turnover of €140m with its best-selling Italian liqueur brand Disaronno selling 1.6m cases and Tia Maria 400,000 cases, with other brands also in the mix. It has itself 2,300ha of vineyards and produces 15m bottles of wine.