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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
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Business Times, April 21, 2016
 

“Watch the ball!” – coaches often shout. No matter if the player is defending against an opponent in a team game, or is receiving from a pitcher in baseball, or is paired up in a doubles tennis match – all these players are urged to watch the ball, not the antics of the rival. Watch the ball, not the man – for the “men” cast meaningful glances and alter their body Fastance as a subterfuge: it’s the ball that counts.

I worry about the United States as Americans seem to have only one thing in view – their presidential elections. Their voting day is far off – Nov 8 – but the candidates have been mesmerising the public with their belligerent words, tone and gesticulations. All the time, the frontrunners give the impression that if they win, and become president, they will close down the nation, erect barriers and ignore the rest of the world.

From its earliest days, the US supported People who had fled from Europe to a new freer land; yet successive presidents supported isolationism, even up to James Monroe, the fifth president, the last of the Founding Fathers, who determined in 1823 “. . . in the wars of the European powers, in matters relating to themselves, we have never taken part, nor does it comport with our policy, so to do”. Nowadays, their “eyes are off the ball”!

Yet the US, while attempting to be politically isolationist, was strongly mercantile with commercial interests in Canada and through South America. After president Bill Clinton signed the Nafta (North American Free Trade Agreement) with Canada and Mexico in 1993, more cheap goods flowed into the US from the south, increasing in volume when the peso fell in 1994. But even so, US intellectual property remained in the US and Mexican factories mainly engaged in assembly.

A larger shock followed the 2001 accession of China in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Further cheap goods arrived in the US, yet little IP (intellectual property) went to China – think of the countless Apple products assembled in China! It was investors in China who could do so more freely knowing that the US, and others, could not easily impose excessive tariffs without WTO agreement. The same situation will persist whoever wins the next US election.

From the earliest of time, we have traded goods in archaeological sites holding precious objects from distant lands, perhaps even from half-way round the globe. After steam-powered transport opened up the lands and seas, we traded more widely, and benefited from the greater exchange of goods. As technology intensified, economist John Maynard Keynes said in 1930 “. . . that people displaced by new facilities will soon be able to get a new job”. He talked of “technological unemployment” while the pace of change increased inexorably. In 2013, Oxford dons Carl Benedikt and Michael Osborne suggested that 50 per cent of US jobs were at risk of being automated, thus “releasing” staff. Workers resist these changes although the firms will benefit the globe by reducing pollution using more efficient machines; and will use less of the globe’s material resources (through better efficiencies) and raise output per person employed (which has fallen globally).

FILLING GLOBAL NEEDS US
presidential candidates overlook the point that the new wave of technologies, no matter where they are located, are displacing staff rapidly, and the “Keynesian new jobs” are not evident since tomorrow’s work will need fewer high-skilled people managing ever more high-tech production. Though the modern Luddite movement is empowered, people across the globe desire more and better goods which will be delivered by open-eyed traders. If the US persists in becoming inward-looking, resisting immigration as a source of new ideas and falling behind on redeveloping its intellectual property, then global needs will be filled by others.

Clear trends enhancing trading are seen in Europe. The European Union (EU) decided Many years ago to redevelop its roads and railways to permit long-haul trade with no border controls. That idea led to the Schengen zone, and also to Traceca (Transport Corridor Europe Caucasus Asia). The latter accord, signed by the EU in 1998, was to link European transport routes through Central Asia into the East, mainly to China. This programme was in conjunction with the Asia Development Bank’s equivalent plans. We have since seen major investments by China internally, and more recently externally, as it rapidly increased its transport capacity and greatly developed its trading opportunities.

I think it is clear that the northern hemisphere, unconnected to the Americas, is becoming more and more interconnected. As a consequence, it will soon emerge as a pan-continental trade bloc, if not formally, in practice. Note that Iran – which can be considered a halfway point between Europe and China – recently opened new road and rail links to stimulate its lagging economy decimated by years of externally-imposed sanctions. Now it has the ability to export goods to China by rail or road through Central Asian nations; move minerals from Afghanistan mines via its new free port at Chabahar; and will soon open a new bridge over the Shatt-al-Arab River into Iraq, increasing its trades still further.

In 2013, China proclaimed that it would redevelop its old trading routes, to be called the One Belt One Road, into Central Asia and thus onwards to Europe. It is an initiative that also incorporates maritime redevelopments throughout Asia. It aims to enhance not only transportation know-how but also intellectual knowledge and production hubs along the routes. This again mimics the Old Silk Road along which several original “hubs” are still working today as vibrant trading entrepôts.

Then newp artners between Europe and China, with their “eyes on the ball”, will not worry too much about TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) across the Pacific, or the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) across the Atlantic, as their own routes with many interesting stopovers, will prove extremely viable and as enduring as the towns of the first Silk Road.

 

The writer is founder of Horasis, a global visions community. Its inaugural Horasis Global Meeting will be held in Liverpool on June 13-14 as part of Britain’s International Festival for Business.

 


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