Goodbye 2017 and Welcome 2018

December 22, 2017

Goodbye 2017 and Welcome 2018

As we draw to a close of the Year of 2017, it is hard not to dwell and reflect on what had happened in the past 12 months. Also the invitations from Linkedin to contribute to their top ideas in 2018 @ #BigIdeas2018 and reading the featured article on myself by the good folks at Treasury Today, reminded me the need to do some deep dive thinking on the key events in 2017 that will impact 2018 and beyond.

Xi’s awakening of the Chinese Dragon from its centuries old slumber

It is beyond any doubt that China has shed its sick man of the east label and is quickly rising up to be the force to be reckoned with in the global scene.  China will no longer be the same. And it is important for one to get rid of outdated  image of an export driven, cheap labour and “asian tiger” Chinese economy. China is now reinventing itself tremendously and it is beyond a doubt that Chinese will be exporting Technology than  just the cheap “Made in China” mass products.

One can allude to the success of Ali Baba, Huawei, and a host of Hi Tech, FinTech and Defense Tech products for clues on what China will be exporting to the World sooner than later. China has arrived. It will be flawed and naive to assume the old economic model for the future Chinese economy. 2018 will be the year to watch for China’s inevitable step up to the high value chain in the Global Arena. The Dragon is claiming its seat in the international waters.

Populism vs Rationalism

It all began from Brexit to Trump and we can see the continuing battles in continental Europe like France, Italy, Germany, Spain and all. I am not an expert on these countries and certainly not privy to their political system and players, therefore I will strive not to be overly presumptuous or pretentious here, but it is hard not to see the similarities in the systemic change with regard to the underlying political climates. Voters are swayed and sometimes seemingly very easily by populistic policies or by “fake” news over logic and rationality.

One should not remain blind or deaf to the rising voice of dissent and discontentment, whether be they irrational or unfounded. The fact is we are witnessing a wave of change, and it is hard to fight against such built up frustrations and pent up emotions, regardless of logic and sensibility. 2018, i fear, will we continue to see such growing sense of disillusion and disconnect among the masses in many countries around the world surfacing more apparently and more disruptive to the current political order.

Rise of the Machines

2017 was a year filled with questions of why and how will AI, Technology and other disruptive innovations impact and change the economy, lifestyles and  the world. Many have been said and done. Most notably, the high octane meteoric rise of the Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies has set the world ablaze and amazed. Fintech, AIs and other technological innovations have rocked the boats of many big and established institutions and corporations, that they have started embarking on the same journey of these “once derided” technologies.

2018 will be the year filled with what and where will Technology be  permeating through many facets of your lifestyle and reinventing the rules and order of the old Tech 1.0 world. Things will change and this change is for real. No longer virtual.

As its the festive season, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Enjoy now, and brace ourselves for an exciting 2018!

about author

Seng Ti is currently heading a Treasury & Finance team in a MNC and is active in the Corporate Treasury scene. He enjoys reading and discussing about current affairs, politics, life, wine and lives a normal life with his wife and 2 young kids.