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2017
Asia Needs more Dialogue
Solutions to urban pollution may prove complex
Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
China needs to lead in new multi-stakeholder world
China’s B&R initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
New wave of robots will be beneficial to all
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
Time is right for Chinese firms to invest in Europe
Robots to the rescue for China?
Asian Multinationals are Going Global, But to Where?
China ratchets forward with energy efforts
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
Bridging managerial gaps involves trust-building
China well-placed to power its future through green technology advances
China's new 'springtime' is here
2016
China’s moves show it’s banking on the future
Mindset for action at the G20 summit will be determined by Chinese presidency
Chinese head-hunting intensifies for rare managers that can steer overseas firms
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
Is it time to be prudent and consider austerity policies again?
What will we do if we have no oil?
Unlock talent by finding the right fit for a person
The benefits are real and tangible
Trade along China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ won’t succeed without the currency of trust
Reasons for optimism about the long term
2015
Can big oil go green and win?
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
Combating Idleness and Deprivation
How China can be a model of food sustainability for the developing world
Kyoto II – Is it a Done Deal?
A meeting of the two largest economic powers
Why China will experience a 'soft' landing
Beware of superstitions
The Elephant and Dragon move ahead
G-7 target on fossil fuels raises many questions
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
China’s resurgence – the ‘normal new’
Wanted: A managerial culture that embraces cultural differences
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
The New Normal for China and India
2014
China's infrastructure push offers a sure track to better growth
US-China climate pact a good start, but not quite enough
Rethink the human’s place in the ‘digital revolution’
China springs a carbon surprise
Infrastructure - the invisible hand in full view
Dialogue vital for survival of Iraqi nation
China must nurture a new generation of beautiful minds
Great expectations in China and India
GM Cereals – The Pros and Corns
Time to be Honest about Our Energy Prospects
Weathering the Storm of Climate Change
Making a Big Decision? Beware of Your Biases
West Deserves Better Logistics Infrastructure
Digital Currencies do Represent the Future
From 'Printed' Houses to Wooden Skyscrapers
It’s time to bail out our schools, not our firms
Solution to India’s housing shortage – print new ones!
And the most promising green technologies of 2014 are ...
Transport infrastructure key to domestic, export growth
Oil stopgaps: Not worth risking
2013
Why the US should grant Edward Snowden amnesty
May we be more optimistic!
China headed for another massive social experiment?
A dialogue that worked
Yes, politicians deserve vacations - because we benefit
NPOs, NGOs invaluable as creators of dialogue
Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
Chinese strategists make right moves for growth
2012
Preparing for tomorrow
Austerity or growth?
Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
Beware of the business cycle?
An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
Driving towards a green future
Waiting for springtime
Preserve or Perish
Startlingly similar Asia policy for Obama, Romney
Globalisation remains an irresistible trend
Google has the edge in smartphone war
U.S. Braces for China's Rise
Mankind’s General Scourge
The summer holidays are over and nothing has changed!
Put the hidden trillions to work
Making sense of India’s woes and wonders
Storm in a teacup!
Let’s give bad bankers a venue to admit their sins
News is about depth, not puff or velocity
Booming India, but too few toilets
Delayed Court decisions doesn't mean one may continue to play 'Great Game'
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
Big polluters can lead in forging common purpose
The weighty issue of choosing a leader
EU-India Relations - Facing similar challenges
Educating with a goal
The Judicial Malaise
We are growing out, but not growing up
EU´s retrenchment enigma
Urbulence in the Eurozone and the effect on SMEs
Skolkovo May Help Russia to Diversify
Make things more effective
Tapping into the Commonwealth connection
Innovative models for public finance
Facebook revolution but Indian style
The feel-good factor
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
Shafts of sunlight
What webs we weave
As performers go to Davos, the circus steals the show
Can we control the politicians?
 
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
China firms should go for win-win in overseas ventures
Of procrastination...
Making sense of profiteering
Truth about financial mess must be laid bare
Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
Excising the cancer of global corruption
Education, a critical asset
Arab uprisings set in motion forces of creative destruction
A new era of change
We must ensure better education for all
Beijing wary of bankrolling a lost cause
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
Why India's Role in the Global Economy is Still Work in Progress
Its the leadership, stupid!
Reverse globalisation: The new buzzword
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Global Times, April 6, 2016
 

To some extent the UK’s EU referendum and the US presidential elections are quite similar. I listen to lots of utter tripe voiced as true fact by candidates of each sides of the argument from either side of the Atlantic Ocean, and rather worrisome is the force generated by US presidential hopeful, Donald Trump. The media seems to repeat and aggravate the sound bites of US and UK politicians. I note how well the UK referendum ‘In’ or ‘Out’ supporters and Donald Trump, perhaps more so than Hillary Clinton, use TV to promote their claims. It is much calmer in China.

I am in favor of new national infrastructure projects as they initially lift local GDP through increased cash flows and spending on salaries, and longer-term benefits accrue through easier trade flows. But Trump’s “Mexico barrier wall” seems to me to be a silly idea. We should note the vast Chinese infrastructure or road, rail, river, sea and regional airport networks upholding China’s desire to incorporate its urban population in its new economic projections. I agree to a great extent Chinese rural people are the equivalent of the economic migrants from Mexico. But China is not building walls; instead it is revitalizing the original Silk Road within its “One Belt and One Road” initiative stretching through Central Asia to Europe. China has expansive plans to develop the entrepreneurship of people in other nations.

The American presidential elections raise concerns for Asian nations as both Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump are against the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact – in different ways. Mrs Clinton worries that the TPP includes provisions that hide currency manipulations; while Mr Trump criticizes its 5,544 page length and claims that “…it allows China to come into the US via many backdoors and create havoc in the US economy” (but he does not explain how this may be as China is not [yet] part of the TPP).

Typically raising tariff barriers is a regular discussion point for US presidential hopefuls in their barnstorming hustings. In reality, increased tariff destroys trade by creating artificial pricing structures no matter it is an import duty or a subsidy to uplift new industries. The latter is seen in green energy schemes that are not economical as devised, but only become so after adding-in streams of subsidies. China is accused of dumping green energy products on the world market – but can we blame China for its low-wage economy that creates low-priced products? This is a fact of life accepted by market traders in the countryside or in international bourses: tariffs interfere with transparent trading. And both the US front-runners, Clinton and Trump, look to upset free market systems. This is not good for the global economy.

Many nations all too easily raise barriers to prevent external competition against local producers. Such protective measures support poor and inefficient managers who squander the earth’s resources. Isn’t it better, as Adam Smith advocated, to allow free markets to promote more equality? However Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has countered, “Markets, by themselves, produce too much pollution. Markets, by themselves, also produce too little basic research (for instance, governments have been responsible for financing or subsidizing many important scientific breakthroughs, including the first telegraph lines, the Internet and many biotech advances.)” There is a fine line to be drawn by sensitive government, or presidential, guidance – which will not be projected in the frenzy of self-marketing in the hustings.

After Clinton or Trump is elected, we will hope their permanent advisors create a more calm and nuanced approach to global trade. Meanwhile China must suffer myopic analysis of its complex transition within its “new normal” that is not reflected in Standard and Poor’s recent downgrading of China's outlook to “negative” from “stable.” It looks to be politically motivated rather than well analyzed.

We ordinary people are left in a quandary and completely mired by spin doctors who invisibly prepare their candidates for the next TV talk show. We have too little time to undertake fundamental research into the basic facts that may or may not support the thrusts of political opponents. Competing claims cause us to be dazed, and complexities are left unexplained – such as why globalization is indeed good for all, even if one has just lost one’s job!

So be hesitant about new administrations – they promise everything to everybody. But all we know with any certainty is our present position in society within the wider world. We do not know how the future will be changed … it may be better after a while, but who knows? In the meantime, let us engage in whole-hearted, open discussions: for it is only open discussion of facts that will inspire trust – and trust is surely a needed commodity globally.

 

The author is founder and chairman of Horasis, a Swiss-based think tank.

 


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