An Egyptian cleric who is a protester, prays as protesters run from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes along a road which leads to the Interior Ministry, near Tahrir Square in Cairo November 22, 2011. Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

World predictions for 2017 have revealed the fate of the United States, European Union, China, Russia and Middle East among other regions.

According to predictions of private intelligence firm Stratfor, the US and Europe will remain the superpowers in 2017. Europe will be incompetent in dealing with financial crisis, Russia will continue strengthening its defence mechanism, Islamic State will weaken and Al-Qaeda will gain strength.

US under Donald Trump’s rule

  • US will take back its support from war with Islamic World

For long the US has extended support in wars with the Islamic world but in 2017, it is going to take back its support. Instead, it will concentrate on improving its own defence mechanism, and also boosting its economic competitiveness.

  • US will be less active in global affairs

The process seemingly goes hand in hand with the ideology of President-elect Donald Trump, who earlier warned of being less active in global affairs and also of pulling back from overseas obligations.

However, things will not be as easy as it may sound. Revision of trade relations will not be easy for Trump as the global economy will sway on international trade. Hence, sudden changes in the policies will be difficult and nearly impossible. Even if the North American Free Trade Agreement were renegotiated, the trade relations of the region would not be impacted.

  • US will impose trade barriers with China, which will cause trade spat with Beijing

US will likely impose trade barriers with China, which in turn will cause trade spat between Washington and Beijing. Trump will question the One China policy and the US will suffer in return. Beijing will end trade with Washington and thereafter the US will be open to Pacific market.

Australia will expand its role in global operations

For Australia, 2017 world predictions suggest that the country will promote regional trade as well as investment in the Asia Pacific region. The role of Australia in regional maritime security affairs will increase, especially in South China Sea as tensions in the region will also escalate.

Political divisions as well as legislative gridlock will be problematic for Australia in 2017. The global commodity prices will be recovered modestly and exporters will be happy to trade.

European Union’s dissolution will begin

For long, it has been predicted the European Union will gradually dissolve. In 2017, the process will noticeably begin. The elections in France, Germany and Italy will impact the existence of the Eurozone. However, countries in the Eastern Europe (Poland in lead) will unite against the tensions brewing from Russia.

Russia will benefit from tensions in Europe

Russia will take advantage of tensions in Europe. It will crack the European unity on sanctions, giving Moscow more consolidation in its borderlands and straining German-Russian relations. Trump’s administration, however, will ease the sanctions and increase cooperation in Syria.

Russia will strengthen its defence system and leverage cyberspace and the Middle East. The United States will try to contain Russian expansion. “Russia will continue to play spoiler and peacemaker in the Middle East to bargain with the West. While a Syrian peace settlement will remain elusive, Russia will keep close to Tehran as US-Iran relations deteriorate,” according to 2017 world predictions by Stratfor.

Middle East tensions will rise

  • Iran and Turkey

The competitiveness between Iran and Turkey will escalate in northern Iraq and Syria. While Turkey will want to expand its influence pertaining to Kurdish separatism, Iran will aim to establish its own sphere of influence.

  • Islamic State

Military operations in Islamic state will degrade in 2017. This will cause local as well as regional stakeholders to scramble for resources and territory. The effects of ineffective Islamic state will be felt abroad as terror attacks and insurgency will rise in the regions outside Middle East.

This will not end the tensions for Middle East as Al-Qaeda, which has been building its form, will become more active thereafter.

China: High levels of corporate debt will be a major concern

China will expand its influence in the Asia-Pacific region but as far as its economy is concerned, the country will face weakening growth.

Beijing’s ties with Moscow in terms of energy projects, military cooperation as well as cyber technology will increase. Trump’s administration will put Beijing and Washington at loggerheads as he will impose potential tariffs on Chinese goods.

The world will reduce its dependency on Chinese products. China as well will try curbing down its import and instead manufacture products in the home country so that they eventually boost their economy growth. This, in particular, will impact the economy worldwide.

High levels of corporate debt will be of high concern for China in 2017. As far as South China Sea dispute is concerned, the country will adopt a measured approach in 2017.

The experts' 2017 world predictions also suggest that inflation will return to global markets and this will force central banks to employ monetary tightening measures. UK will lose its influence in Europe as far as global trade initiatives are concerned.