The World in 2019 | مركز سمت للدراسات

The World in 2019

Date & time : Wednesday, 26 December 2018

The world currently faces incidences the makes reading the future is not mission. A great data base could be used in reading the future, such base is a result to recent developments. Great powers are competing for political hegemony, another ones do for economic control, terrorism threatens the world security, emergent role for technology, upcoming IT revolution.

Major events happened in 2018 leads to dramatic changes in several paths and drew a map to help observers in 2019. At the beginning of the year Turkey launched a military attack on Kurdish forces in northern Syria, “National Dialogue” was held in “Sochi” to discuss the Syrian crisis. On can refer to many of developments happened in 2018;

  • On Feb. 27, significant Saudi royal exemption and appoint decisions were issued for a number of military commanders.
  • On March 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been re-elected for a new term after winning 73.9 percent of the votes.
  • On May 8 of the same year, US President Trump, decided to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran and announced more sanctions against it.
  • Scientifically, the famous physicist Stephen Hawking died in 2018.
  • Athletically, FIFA decided to use the technique of “Video Umpire” for the first time in the 2018 World Cup held on Russia and won by the French team.

As a result of progress in humanities and applied sciences, there has been a growing interest in future studies, which contributes to the development of plans and visions through the existing databases that could be used in predicting the future. One can therefore say that the future science aims at alerting the future dangers in society at economically, socially and culturally.

According to the 2018 sporting events, and scientifically one will try to present a future look for 2019 through answering the question: How will it be in 2019?

On The economic aspect: Facts and expectations


The global economy is going through a foggy situation as a result of the acceleration of events. Despite warnings by major global financial and economic institutions, the US policy of protectionism is affecting the global economy, China has been forced to keep up with the US policy, which sparked a trade war between the two parties, especially after the announcement of the imposition of customs duties on a number of Chinese goods. (2)

  • At the European economic level, developments have accelerated, so that the European economy has become volatile. The Brexit crisis has been developed rapidly after Britain existence from the EU.
  • France is still threatened by the movement of “Yellow Vests” that demand better wages and reducing costs of living, in line with increasing pressure on the French authorities.
  • The global debt rose to $ 2 trillion, reaching 184 trillion dollars, it means more than 86 thousand dollars per person, according to IMF data.


One can look to the future through several scenarios in 2019 as follows:

Commercial disputes do not apply to the “win-lose” equation. Although China may be the biggest loser in the US trade dispute, Washington may also suffer significant losses.

The recession may hit the United States and China if Trump applies all tariffs he threatened to impose, such tariffs would include $ 560 billion goods.

The number of potential jobs in trade war may be affected by about 700,000 jobs in the United States, compared to 700,000 to 1 million jobs in China, it may also damage the investment sector.

The oil-exporting countries have agreed with Russia, Oman and other producers to reduce crude oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day, it may lead to a deficit in oil markets as demand increases. Oil prices are also expected to fall as in early 2013 when prices fallen by 30 percent.

The most indebted countries are the United States, China and Japan, they are the world’s three largest economies. This will increase the potential risks to the growth of the global economy as a result of the increase in the share of the three countries of the world’s total debt to GDP.

On The Political Aspect


  • Several major political events occurred in 2018, from the perspective of political science, the prospect of the future does not resemble economic events, the political field is not without surprises.
  • At the end of 2018 protests broke out in France in protest against raising fuel prices. French President Emmanuel Macaron delivered a speech that included a government response to many of the demonstrators’ demands, such as a minimum wage increase of 100 euros per month. [5]
  • “National Dialogue” conference was held in Sochi, Russia, to discuss the Syrian crisis. The conference included the Guarantor States (Russia, Iran and Turkey) to implement Resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council.
  • On March 4, the former double Russian spy Sergey Scrippal and his daughter were killed by a poison in the city of Salisbury, Britain. London accused Moscow of the crime.
  • US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear agreement with Iran, which was signed in 2015, and Washington has imposed on Tehran two packages of sanctions.
  • The conservative right current in Brazil is likely to lead the public scene with electing Jair Paulsonaro elected as president.
  • Many royal decrees have been issued by exempting and appointing a number of military leaders in Saudi Arabia in 2018.
  • President Vladimir Putin has been re-elected for a second term, winning 73.9% of the vote.


  • More US tensions and sanctions are expected on the Iranian economy in 2019.
  • The role of the conservative right in Latin America is likely to grow. Brazil is a big country and the election of Javier Paulsonaro can support the growth of the Latin American right-wing.
  • “The growing tensions on the northern border of Israel,” raise fears of a confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah, or the outbreak of war between Israel and Iran in Syria.

Technology and information security

  • Technology is an important part of our daily lives, and important events occurred in 2018.
  • Digital currencies such as Bettkin emerged in 2018 but declined after warning of circulation.
  • 2018is considered the worst year for Facebook, especially after many crises and leakage and disruption of the site more than once during the year. (8)
  • Russian intelligence has used technology to monitor what is happening in Europe and the United States, which led to accusing Moscow of electronic piracy.
  • In 2018, many astronomical observatories were closed in several parts of the world, claiming that scientists saw what should not be seen and events that should not be discussed.


  • Great Countries and major institutions are likely to secure their networks and equipment against infiltrations, especially after Russian breakthroughs.
  • Facebook tries to set more settings for nationalization and to avoid hacking and leaking data.
  • Russian intrusions confirm that we are in the midst of an electronic cold war. The British Foreign Office has published a list of Russian cyber attacks that it describes as “Reckless and Indiscriminate,” reminiscent of the Cold War years between Russia and America.

Women Empowerment

2018 was a good year for women empowerment, many indication confirm this matter:

Saudi Arabia has witnessed many developments under the vision of Saudi Arabia 2030. The Kingdom has officially announced that women will be allowed to drive in June 2018. Every girl over 18 years can obtain a driver’s license.

In Africa, “Women Empowerment” has been strengthened. Several important developments have taken place in Ethiopia. Women became have the right to reach important positions such as “The head of State”. The role of women is restricted by complex traditions. The Ethiopian parliament approved a decision to appoint Ambassador Sahli Zardi, replacing President Malato Chomé, to be Ethiopia’s new face as the country’s first female president.


  • Fostering “Women Empowerment” pushes us to be optimistic that 2019 will see more positives:
  • It is expected that the appropriate environment and legal and political tools will be provided for women to hold important positions.
  • It is expected that more political practice will be opened to women through political parties.

Culture and Information

Some countries have undergone many cultural transformations, which underscore the growing importance of culture for peoples.


On March 8 Riyadh held a concert for Saudi artists Mohammed Abdo and Rashid Al Majid, after the absence of parties from the capital of Saudi Arabia for almost three decades. Some observers thought that this was a clear demonstration of a great openness that was supported by several previous steps for the authorities in the Kingdom, as well as the opening of cinemas. [11]

Increasing the role of social media such as  “Facebook, Twitter and Instagram”.


  • 2019 is likely to witness more cultural transformations according to the “Vision of Saudi Arabia 2030”.
  • The role of digital media and social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, is expected to increase.

Terrorism and security

There is no doubt that terrorism has become a panacea for the entire world. Sometimes the perpetrators of terrorist attacks are active and sometimes retreat, as recent developments confirm.


2018 statistics indicate that during the period from 1 January to 18 December 2018, “ISIS” carried out 403 terrorist attacks, which caused the deaths of 2,786 people in 22 countries where the elements of “ISIS”.

The Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, during the period from 1 January to 17 December 2018, 233 terrorist attacks, killing 1599 dead. (12)

Egyptian forces began a large-scale operation involving naval and air forces to confront terrorism in Sinai in February, the beginning of the year, leading to the decline of terrorist elements and the reduction of attacks.

According to the indicators, despite several terrorist attacks in 2018, most countries have improved their situation over the past year. Terrorism has declined in 94 countries, compared with 46 countries where terrorist threats have increased, as well as terrorism-related mortality rates for the third year in a row worldwide. [13]


  • Taliban attacks in Afghanistan are likely to increase in 2019, becoming the centerpiece of terrorist activity in Afghanistan, where at least 45,000 Salafist jihadist fighters are active, and the number is estimated to be over 103,000. .
  • In the Middle East: the war on terror, led by some pivotal countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, is likely to continue to eliminate the threat of “hooligans” and the Houthis.

Weapons Trade

Many changes have been occurred at the end of 2018 with regard to arms trade around the world.


Russia was able to remove Britain from second place as the largest arms producer in the world after the United States, according to the latest statistics, which showed the impact of “future weapons” and Russian superiority.

This confirms that the sales of all Russian arms companies amounted to 36.5 billion dollars in 2017, an increase of 8.5 % over the previous year. This made Russian arms sales currently account for 9.5% of the world’s total arms sales of $ 393 billion. [14]


  • According to previous indications, it appears that the map of weapons in the world is likely to undergo several changes in 2019, which is due to the progress of the Russian classification as a product of weapons and their displacement to Britain, as well as Turkey’s ambitions to develop its arms industry to meet its growing demand for weapons, less dependent on foreign suppliers.
  • In the final analysis, according to current data, 2019 is likely to witness many changes on the global scene at all levels. The most important features of the foresight are:
  1. On the economic level:Although China may be the biggest loser of the trade dispute with the United States, Washington is likely to suffer significant losses as well. It is therefore expected that trade wars will continue between them, as well as increased risks to the growth of the global economy, because the major countries are the most leveraged.
  2. On the political lvel: Further tensions and sanctions between the United States and Iran could be seen in 2019. This is linked to Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal. It is also likely that the role of the right-wing in Latin America will grow as Brazil is a major continent.
  3. Technology and information security:States and major institutions are likely to secure their networks and equipment against intrusions, especially after Russian breakthroughs. It is natural that the owners of the social networking site (Facebook) try to develop more settings and insurance to avoid intrusions and data leaks. Russian breakthroughs confirm that we are in the midst of an “Cyber cold war”.

4- Women Empowerment:

Suitable environment, legal and political tools are provided to support reaching women to the high positions, as well as an enabling environment, which are likely to be opened and women will gain greater political access through political parties.

5- Culture and Media:

2019 is likely to witness more cultural transformations, especially after “Vision 2030”, and the increasing role of digital media and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

6- Terrorism and security:

Taliban attacks in Afghanistan may increase in 2019, to be the center of terrorist activity in Afghanistan, in addition to continuation of the war on terror led by some pivotal countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia to eliminate the threat of “hooligans” and the Houthis.

7- Weapons Trade:

The world’s arms map seems likely to undergo several changes in 2019, which can be traced back to the rise of the Russian classification as a weapon producer and its removal to Britain as the second largest arms producer.

* Monitoring Unit


  1. Sahli Mabrouk, Research Paper: Approaches and Techniques for Future Studies. war between America and China .. Who is the biggest loser? Arab Sky News.
  2. The repercussions of the global financial crisis continue to cast a shadow on investment, the Middle East.
  3. Ibid.
  4. France: Are the “yellow jackets” protests renewed despite calls for calm? France 24. about the highlights of the 2018 events, Elaf.
  6. Expect a major war in the Middle East in 2019, Russia today.
  7. The worst year for the giants of technology, the seventh day.
  8. Saudi Arabia announces the date of allowing women to drive, BBC Arabic.
  9. From defense to head of state. Women change map of government in Ethiopia, Masrawi.
  10. Technical and cultural events that stopped the world in 2018. Read, Channel 218.
  11. Terrorism from 2018 to 2019, Masrawy.
  12. decrease in global terrorism-related mortality rates during 2018, Al-Masry Al-Youm.
  13. World’s Gun Giants: A new classification changes the rules of the game, Sky News Arabia.


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