Mukesh Ambani to be richest man in world in 2014: Forbes

Mukesh Ambani to be richest man in world in 2014: Forbes

"One of the predictions is that Reliance Industries' chief Ambani, who currently has a net worth of 29 billion dollars, pips the world's richest man Mexican businessman Carlos Slim to top Forbes' rich list in 2014," it said.

Ambani's net worth swells to USD 62 billion while Slim is "hit hard by Mexican political, financial chaos," according to the prediction by Forbes. 53-year-old Ambani currently ranks fourth on Forbes' list of the world's billionaires.

Forbes has listed a number of events that could happen over the next 10 years in the field of politics, energy, medicine, finance, society and technology. The publication asked its staff and contributors to forecast some of the "noteworthy events" till 2020.

"A vision of the coming decade sketched from real data, projections and facts whenever possible -- though we've injected a dose of rigorous science fiction to fill the gaps," Forbes said about its special 2020 report called 'What Happens Next -- Our Look Ahead'.

Another forecast in the field of finance and economics is of fraudster Bernard Madoff's death in his prison cell in 2011. The convicted Ponzi-scheme perpetrator is found hanging in his cell and "prison officials will not rule out foul play," according to the Forbes forecast.

"Futurism favours the bold. Look more than 30 years ahead... and critics will forgive your inaccuracies. We've attempted a thought experiment with far tougher standards: predicting the future that's just around the corner," Forbes said.

In 2012, social networking site Facebook debuts on NASDAQ. Its IPOs value USD 40 billion and founder Mark Zuckerberg becomes the first 20-something who is worth USD 10 billion-plus.

Then by 2020, Wal-mart employs five million people worldwide and its sales pass the one trillion dollar mark. The company "cites successful India and Brazil expansions" for the landmark.

In 2017, Harvard endowment doubles in seven years to USD 50 billion. It offers free tuition to lure top students from China. The US job scene finally improves in 2018 as unemployment drops below seven per cent and worst of quadruple-dip recession is likely over, Forbes predicts.

In the area of politics, New York elects Chelsea Clinton to Senate in 2016, according to the Forbes forecast. The daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the "first to hold office while pregnant".

In 2018, the last combat troops leave Afghanistan, bringing an end to the "longest-ever US land war" in which "Taliban and US claim victory." The year 2020 is the year for Tibet's Water War, Forbes prediction says. "China opens a giant hydroelectric dam on the Brahmaputra river in Tibet, sparking military threats from India and Pakistan coalition."

Another political forecast is that North Korea's leader Kim Jong Il dies at the age of 70 in 2011. His son Kim Jong Un, 29, succeeds him and "seeks trade with US". The next political prediction is that the first climate war will be fought in 2020.

"Muslims flee shrinking Maldive Islands for Sri Lanka, sparking religious fighting. UN troops deployed." The year 2016 will see the first Internet balloting for US President, with seven per cent of votes cast online amid widespread accusations of fraud.

In the technological world, technology company Apple will be without its co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs. Jobs, who will retire in 2019, pledge 50 billion dollars upon his death to the charitable Gates Foundation. Senior vice president of Industrial Design at Apple Jonathan Ive will be named company CEO.

In 2011, the 'Terrafugia Transition' flying car goes on sale for USD 200,000, while in 2020 the first privately-owned spacecraft lands six men and two women on moon.
"Virgin Galactic charges 200 million dollars per ticket," the publication predicts.

The year 2018 will be the time when Trans-Eurasia Express, the world's fastest train, arrives in Paris from Beijing, breaking the 300mph record. Forbes' predictions for the world of medicine include the world's largest drugmaker Pfizer breaking up into five smaller firms in 2014.

Men become obsolete in 2016 when "two Australian women conceive first fatherless child using synthetic sperm derived from one mother's stem cell". US life expectancy declines for first time in a century in 2018.

In the field of society and environment, the world's 7 billionth child is born in 2011, Forbes says. "UN chief Ban Ki Moon arrives at a Cairo hospital to welcome the child, Malika Hussein and declares start to Gender Justice Decade."

In 2015, Bangladesh requests USD 8 billion World Bank loan for desalination plants as rising seas contaminate freshwater and by 2020, China faces "dire lack of women" and legalises same-sex marriage, creates pro-homosexual propaganda and financial incentives.

For the world of energy, Forbes predicts that price of switchgrass-based ethanol is cheaper than gasoline in 2017, while in 2019 the first large-scale nuclear fusion experiments commence in France, "prompting new promises of limitless clean power."

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