2014: A Year of Contrasts

EDITOR'S PERSPECTIVE

Meeting the Challenges of 2015

Graham Buck 16 December

With two weeks still to go, 2014 could yet pull a last-minute surprise out of the bag that eclipses the year's other events.In the meantime it's likely to be remebered as a study in contrasts. As evidence grew of the global warming trend accelerating, so the cold war - which was officially declared over at the end of the Eighties - threatend a chilling new chapter. As a result, work towards establishing new free trade agreements in areas such as Asia Pacific was somewhat eclipsed by the US chivvying its European allies to impose heavier sanctions against Russia. At the same time, while the long-awaited recovery in the world's largest economy finally picked up steam the eurozone and Japan once more flirted with recession. In this volatile business environment, even the steadily-falling price of oil isn't something that benefits everyone as one might once have assumed. As ever, prospects for the year ahead are as maddeningly unpredictable as ever, although a volatile environment for investment appears to be one safe bet while the loan market in the EMEA region should also continue to grow in 2015.

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