The mere fact of being in the business environment requires adaptability, flexibility, the strength to be one step ahead of your competitors, thinking outside the box, and the ability to change your plan of action depending on the situation. The way business is done these days has changed a lot over the last few years and this year is certainly not going to be any different. Competition is stronger within every market place with this fact being also fuelled by the way the demands of customers is changing too. It is not enough to offer just an excellent product because you won’t be around long enough to grow a successful business. If you want to get ready to tackle anything that will come up in 2016, here are some business trends you may want to keep an eye on.

The developed countries have an ageing population

Once the economic engines of the world, the developed countries are slowing ageing. For instance, about half of the population in Europe will be over the age of 50 in the following 10 years. Also, the average life expectancy has increased since 1980, so the number of people reaching the age of 100 is on the increase. Thus, by the end of this century, there will be approximately 8 million 100 year olds. Figures show that other financial centres are at the heart of promising economic change. Thee are starting to appear in other places around the globe that were rather behind up to this point. Europe has one of the eldest population on the planet, so the economy won’t rise or become more powerful in the near future. In fact, problems are expected to appear in the area, already fuelled by the rather high percentage of unemployment, in comparison with other areas of the globe. The United States are somewhere in the middle, not that old, but not too young either, which is an indicator that the economy will be steady.

Asian countries are taking over the global market

As mentioned before, the centre of flourishing economy is shifting, and apparently a great number of countries in Asia are become more and more attractive as the next big financial centres. This impressive economic boom is due to the fact that about half of the Earth’s population lives in Asia, which means more workforce and minds to guide the economy on the right path. In fact, the way things are at the moment in Asia, influence the way things will become in business across the world. For instance, by 2030, 66% of the middle-class population will be found, or coming from Asia. Asia will also represent about 59% of the whole middle class across the world. So not only the production will increase here, but also the consumption of products triggered by the increase of the average income. The middle-class in the rest of the continents, like America and Europe, will measure only 22%, during the same period.

Robots are taking over

More and more countries prefer robots to do the work of people since they never need to rest, and they don’t demand a higher paycheck. In fact, there is a hotel in Nagasaki, Japan, which is entirely operated by robots, one night there costs only $80. So production is cheaper with the help of robots, which replaces human labor. No wonder this is an increasing trend. In the US alone, the presence of industrial robots increased by 72% in the past ten years, while the manufacturing jobs dropped by 16%. Also, in the UK, computers, and robots will take 1 out of 3 jobs in the following 20 years. Slowly, but surely, the business environment is getting more and more robotic, relying more on machines to get the needed job done.

Innovation comes from Northern Europe and East Asia

In the business environment, it is important to be innovative. Bringing something new to the market, which will increase the quality of living, can be extremely beneficial, from an economic point of view. In 2016, trends show that innovation will mostly take place in South Korea, Sweden, and the US. Research and Development(R&D) investments made in these parts of the world suggests that these countries are the ones most likely to bring more innovation to a global market. South Korea is investing the most in R&D with around 4.15% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Sweden has 3.30%, and the US has 2.73%.

Credit default lurks in some economies with low and middle income

Even though credit may look to be the best solution when there is a lack of funds, the way the economy looks in some parts of the world may not be able to sustain this bad credit. The low and middle-income countries are more exposed to credit default. Ukraine, Venezuela, Greece, and Pakistan are the countries that are closest to the edge of this economic gap. Venezuela has the worst case scenario, heading towards disaster if nothing changes, due to a very low Debt-to-GDP, of only 49.8%. In the opposite extreme is Japan, having a Debt-to-GDP of 230%, being the country with the lowest risk of credit default in the world. This point reflects the business environment of that country, the average income, and job availability very positively. The stronger the economy is, the lower is the chance of credit default to happen.

These trends will definitely get you an idea how things are evolving on the global market, Just in case you were planning to take your business outside of your country’s boundaries. Besides studying the a market of a different country other than your own to conquer with your business, you should also take a look at the trends for this year, so you will know, and get prepared, for whatever may happen. It can mean the difference between success and failure within that market. Trends are important for every market, so they should be important to businesses as well. Some unexpected changes are about to change global business and investment, so it is a very inspired choice to know what is the direction of these changes.