Although risks in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) are tilted to the downside and uncertainty remains high for 2020, EMEA will continue to offer opportunities to win. Navigating this environment will require very strong focus on identifying untapped opportunities and resilient segments; creating, communicating, and monetizing value in innovative ways; and remaining extremely agile as the external environment continues to pose risks.

Overall, we expect trends in EMEA will be in line with global trends during 2020. Improvements in emerging EMEA markets—Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Ukraine—will be helpful, but the slowdown in Western Europe will persist, weighing on company performance, especially in industrials segments. With consumer spending as the main driver of growth in the region, our base case scenario anticipates that growth will remain in line with 2019 and will not decelerate dramatically.

Despite geopolitical tensions, executives will find opportunities across the Middle East, particularly in Egypt, which is increasingly high-profile as a potential driver of investment. Customers in the MENA region, however, will remain price sensitive and value propositions will need to continue to adapt.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, we see mixed fortunes across different markets in the region, with South Africa, Angola, and Nigeria’s growth underperforming, but significant growth opportunities across East African markets like Kenya and Ethiopia, as well as Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa.

Segments and industries in the manufacturing and industrials sectors will be under severe pressure during the year, but opportunities in consumer goods, healthcare, and technologies will remain much more positive. Central European consumers in particular will continue to enjoy strong income gains in 2020.

FrontierView has outlined five priority actions for EMEA executive teams to reduce the impact of uncertainty on your business:

  • Accelerate top-line growth with deeper focus
  • Improve route-to-market structure and cost efficiency
  • Improve customer centricity across your organization
  • Create and monetize value for customers in new ways
  • Integrate contingencies into your 2020 plan

Executives should ensure that they are monitoring the correct signposts and triggers for both positive and negative shocks to the operating environment through market monitoring, risk-tracking, and course-correction best practices. Without new product innovation, executives can differentiate by building stronger relationships with customers to increase loyalty, improve share of wallet, and strengthen margins. We do not expect that a booming demand environment will compensate for partner weaknesses through 2020, so effective channel management will be critical to win in the region.

The EMEA Outlook is just one in our series of 2020 outlooks. Over the next several weeks we will be sharing more Regional Outlooks to help you and your regional teams with your strategic planning for next year. See what our Global Economics and Scenarios team is predicting for the global economy in 2020.

For more strategic priorities as you build your 2020 plans, purchase the full Regional Outlook from our online store.