The G7 group of rich nations will be overtaken by an "E7" bloc of emerging economies by 2050, presenting a major challenge to a swath of Western companies and workers, according to research published today.
The collective size of the economies of the fast-growing septet - China, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey - will have surpassed the Group of Seven by as much as 75 per cent by the midway mark in the century, it said.
The report, by the accountancy firm PwC, said the rise of these economies was beneficial to the West but warned there would be winners and losers - among companies and individual workers. Its report, which it said showed an urgent need for boosting skills levels, came as the online retailer Amazon.com said it was moving its main European customer service centre from Slough to the Irish Republic because of a shortage of multilingual workers.
PwC found that people with low- or medium-level skills would come under threat - both from having their jobs moved overseas and having them taken by migrant labour. Eventually, even high-skilled professionals such as lawyers and accountants could find their livelihoods under threat.
"Premium incomes currently earned by highly skilled and educated professionals - senior lawyers, accountants, bankers, financial market analysts - will tend to be gradually eroded by an increasing number of equally well-qualified, extremely highly motivated and hard-working English-speaking professionals from the E7 countries."
But it said that many business sectors and trades would be better off as long as Western countries adapted.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies