The report, The Long View, ranks 32 countries based on their projected 2050 GDP by Purchasing Power Parity, finding China's GDP would reach US$58.5 trillion, India US$44 trillion, and Russia US$7 trillion. PPP was used as many experts consider it as a more precise way of estimating a country's economy, as it compares different currencies through a market-based "basket of goods" approach to determine economic productivity and standards of living.
Moreover, the authors considered three key underlying factors — human capital (working age population growth), physical capital (investment in capabilities and education) and technological capital (innovation growth).
Frontier economies such as Vietnam, the Philippines and Nigeria are expected to grow by an average of 5 percent annually, taking the largest strides up the GDP rankings of all economies. The US will lose global dominance by 2030, and China will only continue to grow.
While these projections are based on current assumptions, and subject to unforeseen headwinds and tailwinds, John Hawksworth, chief economist for PwC, told Sputnik there's every reason to believe the rise of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), ongoing for decades, will continue apace. He foresees Russia's economy overtaking Germany in size by 2030, for instance.
"Russia has great people strengths, with a well educated, entrepreneurial population highly skilled in new technologies. It's a matter of diversification away from natural resources, towards emergent tech. Russia should capitalize on those key assets, and make the country an attractive place for top talent from China and India to establish themselves in," Mr. Hawksworth told Sputnik.
While other economic reports have offered dire warnings about the threat to jobs and entire industry sectors posed by robotics, Mr. Hawksworth is more circumspect about the risks, and more optimistic about their potential.
"Robots will destroy jobs in some areas, while creating new opportunities in others. We previously published a study showing 10 percent of the jobs in London were digital roles that didn't exist 20 years previously. There are great jobs to be had in new areas, and robots can create new forms of income, creating demand for existing and new services alike. We shouldn't see robots as destructive — that's a very one-sided view," he added.
Still, Mr. Hawksworth does see potential downside risks in the growth of protectionist economic policies.
"What drove economic growth in the post-war period was free trade — since the financial crisis, we've seen backwards steps on that, and a slowing of global trade. We can rhetoric around that in the US and elsewhere at the moment, but a nationalistic approach to trade would be very bad — it's the free flow of ideas, tech and people around the world that drives growth," he concluded.