Not all of these trends will impact the chemical industry, at least in the immediate future. Likewise, not all of the consequences will be negative. While many businesses will be forced to shut down, new opportunities will begin to arise, driven by B2C and B2B needs. And chemicals, polymers and ingredients will continue to serve as the “industry of industries,” as the source of all tangible goods.
The coronavirus crisis may simply accelerate key macro trends
The coronavirus crisis may simply accelerate key macro trends already underway, creating a volatile backdrop for chemical companies to navigate on the road to recovery. Four key macro trends are shaping global discontentment: growing income inequality; the displacement of labor from automation, technology, immigration and free trade; wars displacing investment in infrastructure, healthcare and education; and increasing polarization via social media, said Ian Bremmer, president of global political risk research and consulting firm Eurasia Group. Bremmer presented at the American Chemistry Council (ACC) virtual annual meeting. “This is deeper than Trump. It is structural, as it’s happening in so many countries. Politics is just symptomatic of that divide,” said Bremmer. “You add the coronavirus, and it just accelerates these trends.”