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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
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Global Times, February 17, 2017
 

Recently Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that China will uphold globalization and free trade. I believe this is in the best interest of the world's nations, large or small. Happily, President Donald Trump wrote to the Chinese Embassy in Washington to wish it, and by implication, China, "a good Lantern Celebration" and held a telephone conversation with President Xi. Given the importance of Sino-US trade, and the fact that they are the two economically strongest nations globally, I feel this conversation was a tad delayed. But it took place, and apparently with no discord. President Trump agreed to honor the one-China policy, and together the US and China must continue "high level communications."

An after-effect arises from President Trump's demand that jobs should be returned to US workers on US soil. Clearly this impacts Sino-US trade, and with the extensive Sino-US investment. An example often noted are the Apple Inc products assembled in China, which the new US President has asked "why not in the US?" The simple answer is that broadly the US has chosen not to invest in assembly factories in the country, preferring instead lower cost regions. This is a general reaction by prudent managers anywhere looking to reduce costs. Their offshoring decisions are complex in a globalized world as most of the high-tech intellectual property invested in a product is built-in, say in the US, and shipped to China as a sub-component. At the same time not all other sub-components are made in China. China may not have the needed capacity, or Chinese assemblers contracted to Apple themselves suggest using cheaper sourcing in other regions of Asia.

Robotization is a second issue - it transfers jobs to a robot that does not need food or sleep breaks, does not demand wages and is not unionized (a controversial issue in the US). Robotization is a growing global phenomenon as managers look to raise their productivity. No sector is immune and a robot's precision when coupled with Artificial Intelligence software is very powerful. In older times, economist Adam Smith said "workers displaced would soon find new jobs in the expanding economy created by industrialization." Today this is not the case, as the global economy has slowed. The short-term goal of many governments is to find jobs for displaced people that are meaningful, not demeaning and socially iniquitous.

More generally it is intriguing to ponder upon the tasks of the attendees in the next G20 meetings and later, the main G20 meeting in Hamburg in July. Ministers are usually tasked to align their nation's policies based on earlier bilateral talks.

In the case of the US these could not have taken place with the administration change. I can only assume that the pre-G20 meetings will inform the new US officials of the procedures and the wishes of the other nations so that the meeting of Heads of State at the G20 may proceed with understanding. These are simply guesses, but nevertheless we have to consider how President Trump might react at the G20. With whom will he have side meetings, what side deals will he attempt to make and which of his many historic tweets will he affirm or deny? Global well-being depends on firm and consistent accords which in turn demands that a nation's government is seen to be stable.

President Xi's assertions about free trade and his previous conversation about the development of China's relations across Asia and beyond via the One Belt and One Road initiative are consistent. Already China and Europe are exchanging train-loads of goods via railways and roads. These efforts demanded long discussions of a technical nature about the safety of the vehicles and about the laws governing the security and insurance guarantees of each transit State. Now containers on trucks can travel from anywhere in China laden and sealed without any need for local inspections through to Europe. Containers on trains have a similar freedom.

China will continue to discuss trade with the EU through its headquarters in Brussels, and with individual nations, like Germany with its strong export economy, or directly with a few targeted firms to forge "alliances of the willing."

Such initiative is seen in the China-Switzerland Free Trade agreement, now in its third year. It is not surprising to read that China will be bolstering trade within Asia and Africa via its Belt and Road initiative and with other nations affected by the US' decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The benefits of globalization accrue to all involved by lifting the nation's GDP and thus the wealth of the people. China could not have raised millions of its people from poverty had it not been for globalization and free trade. I do not doubt that China's Belt and Road initiative will be managed carefully - not merely as a simple investment or loan to a foreign government, but as a partnership in free trade and principled leadership.

 

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

 


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