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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
Europe’s reminiscence
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Khaleej Times, December 27, 2011
 

While I was walking through a quiet, quite snowy, forest in Switzerland I was first drawn to the peacefulness of it all. Then reality intruded – in front of me was a futuristic machine. But it was nothing more than a large mobile blower to make artificial snow. Switzerland is a funny place! It stresses quality, not just in watches, jewellery and the snow pistes; but also in global banking systems (though that sector suffered set-backs a few years ago). Above all it upholds its quality of life. However it is surrounded by nations with very different views: Italy to the South, in the north Germany, and to the east is France.

We must be wary of the bilateral management being pressed on all of Europe by ‘Merkosy’ – the steady almost dour Angela Merkel and the mercurial ebullient Nicolas Sarkozy. The recent EU summit seems to have created some accord between the 26 nations of the EU, but left out the UK. That was a choice made by David Cameron when he exercised his veto to the surprise of many members. Much has been made of this situation in the press, but the financial markets lifted their valuation of sterling presuming the EU leaders had not really solved the crisis. It was somewhat telling that one Ambassador went as far as to say he likened the new accord to “… the Loch Ness Monster. We all think it is there, but we have not yet seen it”.

There is a parallel to be drawn of this meeting with that at Durban, South Africa concerning climate change. The latter was scheduled to take two weeks, with negotiators hammering out positions then head of state flying in for the last two days to sign-off an agreement. In fact the meeting had to be extended by two days to allow still further acrimonious arguments to flow 24 by 24 until the end was sighted.

I see two issues common to these meetings. Firstly, political arguments were sprung upon the collected delegates who may not have had time to consider any ramifications. The need to consider is paramount – so why not table these arguments early, let them circulate openly and be discussed calmly by all members? That would also prevent leaked documents being put to the media and the latter having a wonderful time creating potentially erroneous diatribes compounded by their frequent use of “… sources close to… have indicated that…”. Such positioning hardens the attitudes of honest negotiators and enrages those who feel slighted. Now, given a few more days of reflection some of the European heads and those at Durban have expressed their doubts of each accord: some Europeans may have to run a Referendum in order to alter their own constitutional position once the drafting of the accord become more clear.

The second aspect is just a matter of timing: it is about negotiators ‘grandstanding’ – making speeches and taking stances that might boost their re-election chances. Sarkozy is a case in point, his polls count in France is not high and he must work hard to gain re-election, but too hard may create difficult times for all in the mêlée. One way forward on this issue is to ban speeches designed to “… do the most for my country”. The European situation is grave, and needs a solution which may involve local compromises and not posturing. The market forces are unemotional and sovereign. debt ratings will be downgraded if all the politicians do not work together: sometimes that may be difficult for each electorate to swallow.

And now, at the end of this eventful year, and looking into the next – I wish you all the best of good wishes.

 

Frank-Jürgen Richter is founder and chairman of Horasis, a global business community


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