India a top geopolitical risk for 2020: US consultancy

In their most recent report, the Eurasia Group said PM Narendra Modi has spent "much of his second term promoting controversial social policies at the expense of an economic agenda. The impacts will be felt in 2020, with intensified communal and s...

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On India, the Group observes, the perception could grow that the Modi government's focus on its social agenda would have an economic spillover.
NEW DELHI: India is one of the world's top geopolitical risks for 2020, according to the Eurasia Group, one of US' most influential risk assessment companies.

In their most recent report, the Eurasia Group said PM Narendra Modi has spent "much of his second term promoting controversial social policies at the expense of an economic agenda.

The impacts will be felt in 2020, with intensified communal and sectarian instability, as well as foreign policy and economic setbacks."


For the first time, the group had the US and its broken domestic politics as the "top" global geopolitical risk of this year. "We face risks of a US election that many will view as illegitimate, uncertainty in its aftermath, and a foreign policy environment made less stable by the resulting vacuum. ... a broken impeachment mechanism, questions of electoral illegitimacy, and a series of court challenges will make this the most volatile year of politics the US has experienced in generations."

On India, the Group observes, the perception could grow that the Modi government's focus on its social agenda would have an economic spillover. "Modi has less room to manoeuvre on structural reforms, just as the economy is starting to sputter, with quarterly growth falling to a six-year low of 4.5% and forward-looking indicators looking softer still. ... A weakened economy will in turn feed further economic nationalism and protectionism, weighing on India's troubled course in 2020."

The top risks include the technological "decoupling" between the US and China and the challenges that it poses to the world besides the enduring US-China tensions, which, the Group says will lead to "more explicit clash over security, influence and values."
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Countries and governments, the Group observed, will push back more and more against multinational corporations, with tougher nationalism-based regulatory frameworks. The EU, the group predicts, may increasingly push back against the unilateralism displayed by the US and China. Climate change will challenge companies and countries equally, creating conflicts between controlling emissions and bottomlines.

The Shia world, Eurasia Group predicts, may rise creating greater regional instability. Related, Turkey, it says, may be unravelling, which could be dangerous to others in the region. Latin American volatility and instability would be another source of risk.
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