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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 low sales volume...
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Khaleej Times, March 6, 2012
 

How can it be? Usually sales staffs are sacked if they can´t do their job, and it is hardly the conventional storyline we might hear from marketing executives. Indeed, it is not what we hear from the likes of Huawei, Haier or Yu Yuan.

They are as active as ever, looking for sales at home, and especially overseas; and it is just the same story from the myriad of suppliers to the likes of Foxxcon who assemble Apple´s i-family for export to the US. Nor is such hyper-activity confined to coastal region of China - there is unprecedented growth in goods flow along the Yangtze both up and down stream; and the port of Shanghai is now the world´s biggest container port shifting almost 32 million TEU last year (over 400 million tons of goods).

Yet the Western press, notably in the US, riles against the "Made in China" labels that can be found on very many consumer goods: and we are told they `own´ the US Treasury also. We may thus be forgiven in thinking that China has expanded greatly without us really noticing. It is true that the US imports a large chunk from China - about $350 billion. But that is only 2.3 per cent of its $14.5 trillion economy - we must maintain a sense of perspective, not only in the US but across the globe.

Further, China does own a large quantity of US Treasury debt (about $1.14 trillion: or 7.8 per cent of $14.6 trillion US total debt); Japan follows with $937 billion, and the UK is third in line ($397 billion).

A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (FRBSF) in August 2011 answers some of these questions - but they seem not to have filtered through to the `average Joe´ or to the US President´s office. Firstly it is true that the US takes imports from China - in GDP terms about 2.5 per cent from China, but it imports a further 13.5 per cent from the rest of the world: in reality the US is somewhat closed, as 88.5 per cent of consumer spending is upon goods made in the US. Practically 2/3 of US spending are on local services, and surprisingly (given the contrarian hype) 2/3 of US durable goods bought are made in the US. The China label, however, is obvious on many goods we use daily - our clothing and shoes, furniture and household equipment.

We ought also to be careful to note that China is probably not able to pass on its own domestic inflation since much of the content of Chinese assembled goods comprise parts imported from other nations for assembly in China. The FRBSF notes the iPhone in particular - costing about $500 in the US had a production cost in China of $179 of which only $6.50 reflected the assembly labour cost. Foxxcon, as well as others, depend on world pricing, so their `costs´ ought to be lifted to reflect other countries financial problems.

One of China´s problems may be its modesty. Really! Over the years it has quietly progressed, creating the development regions (that we despise wrongly, as noted above) and vastly extended its infrastructure of roads, railways, waterways and airports. Of course that has increased its resource needs, especially of energy. It has thus become the world´s heaviest polluter. But again we must place this in context. Its government has promised a 40 per cent reduction in its energy intensity from 2005 levels by 2020; and it seems to have achieved a 20 per cent reduction by 2010 even while chasing economic growth.

It has achieved this in part through strong central pressure to remove polluting factories and power plants substituting instead modern efficient equipment. Those acts help circulate cash both on new assets and labour through this processes of change, and then later in the new production processes. China cannot do this entirely alone; it relies on imports of technology and cooperative knowledge exchange working within a well-conducted economic diplomacy.

What the US and other leaders in the developed world must heed is the Chinese model of strong central government guidance pressed on its people. Democracy is all well and good, but it allows procrastination and an inclination to allow market forces to hold sway. Thus the US Treasury has a heavy obligation to support their unemployed: it is similar across most of the developed world. So why not undertake greater dirigisme and direct firms to re-employ and get cash flowing once more? Then we might grumble less against the successful Chinese.

 

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


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