According to the Boston Consulting Group, the future of international business is one of “continued innovation and experimentation.” In other words, any business wishing to stay ahead of the curve during 2022 and beyond should give serious consideration to international business trends. 

In the following sections, four trends that are expected to have a significant impact on international business in the coming years are discussed in hopes of giving businesses a better chance of survival during these shaky economic times, as well as a head start over their competition in spotting new opportunities across the globe.

Growing Developing Countries & Emerging Market Trends

Even with the slowdown of the global economy in 2022, emerging markets are still expected to outpace developing country growth levels by a wide margin. 

There are three main reasons for this phenomenon:

  1. Developing countries have young populations that are entering the workforce.
  2. Secondly, they have large and rapidly growing middle classes.
  3. Finally, these countries are investing in new infrastructure and adopting new technologies to support their continued development.

The best part is that the cost of doing business in these developing countries is still lower than in developed countries, and therefore businesses wishing to take advantage of this trend should seriously consider investing in their growth before it becomes more expensive to do so.

Population & Demographics Shift Trends

This year the world has reached a global population of 7.7 billion people. This is an increase of 1 billion people over the last ten years. The world’s population is growing at a rate of 83 million people per year.

However, the majority of this growth is happening in Africa and Asia.

  • Africa: the population is growing at a rate of 2% per year.
  • Asia: the population is growing at a rate of 1.3% per year.

Over half (54 percent) of the world’s population now lives in Africa and Asia. As the population rises, so do the opportunities for businesses catering to middle and wealthy families and individuals. 

Any business focusing on families, mothers, and children would do well to bring their business to both the African and Asian continents as there seem to be no future signs of a slow down in their population levels. 

Innovation Trends

The biggest trend in innovation over the last decade has been the speed at which new products are created. And the majority of this innovation is no longer the sole property of the Western world. 

Countries like China and India, once considered manufacturing hubs, are now leaders in cutting-edge technological advancements

Therefore, it would be wise to take part in this new technological boom by either partnering with new companies in these two countries or offering them the research and development capabilities of an established business. 

Economic Slowdown Trends

The Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) has stated that the world GDP will grow by only 2.9 percent by the end of this year. This is in sharp contrast to the 3.6 percent growth rate back in 2017. 

The majority of this slowdown will come from advanced economies, which are expected to grow by only 1.8 percent before the year is through. And even though emerging economies are set to far outpace advanced ones with an expected growth rate of 4.7 percent by year-end, they too are expected to slow down due to geopolitical issues across the globe. 

Therefore, as demand drops, companies must look for innovative ways to increase profit margins as volume levels are expected to continue to decrease over the next few years.

By being aware of the above international business trends, companies can better position themselves to take advantage of rising opportunities across the globe, thus reaching new customers and growing their profits in return. 

What is more, they will be in a better position to create new strategies that will help them overcome some of the most common obstacles that often arise from new global business trends, namely increased competition and cultural norms.