Welcome to the new year, and to our annual primer on what to expect in the Asia-Pacific over the next 12 months. For each country or region, our authors highlight three events or trends to watch for in 2022.
One point stands out: 2022 will be a year of political change in many countries in Asia. We will see presidential elections in the Philippines, South Korea, and Timor-Leste, and a federal election in Australia. Numerous other countries are undertaking local (India) or legislative (Japan) elections that won’t see top leadership change, but will bring with them political implications all the same. Even China will see a shake-up of political leaders at its once-every-five-years Party Congress, although don’t expect Xi Jinping himself to go anywhere.
A new calendar year doesn’t mean a sharp break from the past, though. Some of the major events of 2021, including the coup in Myanmar and the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan, will continue to reverberate in 2022.
And, for the third year running, the COVID-19 pandemic will loom over all other events. 2021 started with vaccine roll-outs and hope for a post-pandemic normal; the year ended with the Omicron variant shutting borders around the world once again. In 2022, all of the Asia-Pacific will be struggling to balance health precautions with the increasingly pressing need to get economies back on track.
Click through to read the full outlook.