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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
Great expectations in China and India
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Business Times, July 5, 2014
 

Both governments have high standards to live up to as their people look to their leaders for direction more so than before

Charles Dickens' book describes the severities of life to be experienced by "young Pip", its hero. As he grows up, the passage of time lies heavy on newly elected national leaders. While Dickens was a social commentator writing of intrigue and distress with great imagery, new leaders have to "walk the talk" and reach out to manage their citizens' expectation across all levels of society. Nowhere is the contrast more similar than in today's India and China, even with their differing forms of constitutional governance: Indian democracy contrasts with the power-sharing single party rule of the People's Republic of China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is supported by his State Council led by Li Keqiang and several layers of assistants and vice-chairs. But it is these two leaders who present a public and diplomatic face to the world and promote the policies of the State in accordance with the National People's Congress under the chairmanship of Zhang Dejiang. The Chinese Communist Party continues to direct progress and initiatives but is somewhat thwarted by the geographical vastness of China and its large social diversity. Nevertheless, over the last decades China has developed rapidly under the guidance of its leaders, lifting hundreds of millions from poverty and creating a huge number of millionaires.

I suspect that the leadership is embarking on a social experiment as they attempt to proactively house rural migrants in new townships. In the recent decades, China has put in place a vast transport infrastructure covering road, rail and air as well as river and sea ports. It is poised to be able to offer work to its citizens no matter where they may live.

What hinders China
There are difficult issues. Very publicly, President Xi has sworn to remove rent-seeking and corruption from public life and to pursue those who have committed crimes. The high-ranking are not immune as we see Xu Caihou, once a vice-chair of the Central Military Commission, expelled by the Politburo for bribery and his case turned over to military prosecutors.

As China is the world’s largest “greenhouse gas” polluter, it faces an unprecedented need to clean up its energy producing systems. It is doing this in far-reaching ways – by installing more nuclear power generation; buying more oil and natural gas from overseas to substitute coal as an energy source. As it demands ever more electrical power, it is also actively pursuing carbon capturing and sequestration research as it must rely heavily on coal-fired energy.

We have just held our annual Global Indian Business Meeting, this time in Liverpool, UK. Of course most Indian leaders applaud the landslide victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They acknowledge that Mr Modi has only just come to power weeks ago (in contrast to the election of President Xi who has been in office since November 2012) and euphoria is widespread across India. He has to convince all people, all the time, that he and his party are right for India. We heard Gregory Barker, the UK’s Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, who also is the UK Minister for Business Engagement with India, waxing enthusiastically about the potential for increased trade with the “new” India. And Vince Cable, UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said that he was hopeful for greater trade ties with India.

India’s concerns
Nevertheless, Mr Modi faces many issues. He has vowed to get rid of corruption from public administration and private businesses which, like in China, will be difficult. Across Asia, there is a natural belief in gift-giving as an honour but gifts have risen to gargantuan levels on occasions, and their costs are invariably borne by the poor at the bottom of the economic pile.

Before becoming the head of India’s Central Bank, Raghuram Rajan worried that India could start looking like an oligarchy along Russian lines where “. . . too many people have got rich based on their proximity to government”.

The people of India have voted, and Mr Modi will remain in power as long as they remain happy and perceive his government to be “doing the right thing”. However, there are many fault lines in India, such as the caste system, as well as regional, religious and economic diversity, all of which have to be managed.

Time is not on Mr Modi’s side. We heard at this meeting that the massive infrastructure of earlier years were not all on target, yet a vast new project is well underway to link Mumbai with New Delhi (2,700 km) crossing six states in a high-tech expansion of infrastructure and industry, with another 5,000 km of feeder routes to link West Bengal which will support the “Golden Quadrilateral”: a development launched in 2001. A new corridor from Mumbai to Bangalore (1,000 km) has also been proposed and is expected to create 2.5 million jobs. Throughout these corridors, new cities are proposed as India, like China, is expecting rural-to-urban migration. But I do not think that it has calculated the magnitude of the issue. Some while ago I wrote of the need to give toilets to half the Indian population that the last Indian Census noted were without adequate or often no sanitation facilities, and Mr Modi has promised to address this issue.

The way forward
I fear that outwardly democratic India will haphazardly delay Mr Modi’s plans. He has been elected by the people, but he does not command a majority in India’s Upper House. In contrast, the monolithic Chinese government might be able to almost push any plan through to completion, though they are more subtle than that. Both the Chinese and the Indian populations share great expectations and are looking to their leadership for inspiration.

 

The writer is the founder and chairman of Horasis, a Zurich-based visions community. Horasis hosts annual meetings on India and China.


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