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US-China tensions and other negative geopolitical factors will precipitate an innovation winter starting 2019, Eurasia Group, a think tank and consultancy, warned in a recent post. “Over the course of 2018, technology competition grew extremely political. This (2019) is the year investors and markets will start paying the price,” Ian Bremmer, the group’s founder and president, and Cliff Kupchan, chairman, wrote in the post. “We’re heading for a global innovation winter—a politically driven reduction in the financial and human capital available to drive the next generation of emerging technologies.”
There are other worrying factors too: States have become circumspect in sourcing tech equipment from foreign suppliers, enacting tough data-regulation rules, and moving to protect local businesses against established global tech companies, Bremmer and Kupchan wrote. In Asia, there are interesting flip-side consequences. “The US-China spat is good for other Asian economies. Already Vietnam and Philippines are benefiting from the movement of manufacturing supply chains,” says Sanjay Anandaram, co-founder of JumpStartUp, one of India’s earliest US-India cross-border VC funds.
Privacy and security concerns are leading to a rethinking of digital infrastructure, says Anandaram. “India is a torchbearer in this regard—think India Stack—and many countries are being inspired by and emulating the Indian approach.” He adds: “Private equity, venture capital and FDI investments into India will continue to remain robust.”