You can bring a horse to water. But can you stop it from drinking (too much)? In the upcoming year of the horse, China’s leaders need to figure out exactly that, as its local governments thirst for debt threatens to derail the economy. Will they succeed?
Liu Mingkang, former chairman of China’s Banking Regulatory Commission (pictured), left no doubt about the government’s intention to stop the flood of lending: “The signal is clear cut,” he told beyondbrics in an exclusive interview. “The torrent [of local government debt] is becoming quite limited.” Continue reading »
It would be exaggerated to call Davos the “money Oscars”, as Jon Stewart did on the Daily Show. But this year, WEF participants did like to think of countries as winners or losers, especially among emerging markets. In this last roundup, beyondbrics summarises who, to paraphrase the FT, “was hot – and who decidedly not.”
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What will the EMs next “black swan” be? With the crash of the Argentinian peso, the difficult Syrian peace talks in Montreux, and Iran’s nuclear situation, WEF participants last week had enough scenario’s to reflect on. But one fear of Davos participants about emerging markets was a rather unexpected one: the EM middle class.
Nouriel Roubini, in the CNN debate on Emerging Markets, was quick to point it out. “Paradoxically, it’s not the proletarians that are in the street in countries like Brazil, Chile, India, or Ukraine,” he said. “It’s the middle class. They’re becoming restless.” Continue reading »
On Friday evening in Davos, Paul Kagame, Nouriel Roubini and Carlos Ghosn discussed the next steps for emerging markets. Do you want to know what their predictions were?
EM private equity investors don’t. “We don’t get our EM news here from public debates,” says Paul Fletcher, from PE firm Actis, at Davos. His former colleague Sev Vettivetpillai agrees agrees: “You need to be on the ground yourself to understand what’s happening.”
However, they didn’t mind sharing their view on EMs. Continue reading »
It was quite the wake-up for attendees at the WEF debate on Chinese-American-European cooperation. After a “well meant advice” of Harvard Professor Joseph Nye about Chinese policies in the South China sea, Wang Jianlin, China’s richest man, had had enough.
“I’m not happy with the professor’s comments,” he said. “This is an economic debate. Not a political one. This is not polite.” In this initial and later reaction, he revealed a few interesting things about his strategy and temper – and made it seem as though influential Chinese are misunderstood by the outside world. Continue reading »
Africa needs infrastructure above everything else, but doesn’t have enough finance. True?
Not quite, perhaps. Prior to a Davos debate on investment challenges in Africa, Ben Kruger of Standard Bank warned: “If we focus on the wrong challenges, the world will move ahead without us.” Ahead of Thursday’s debate on Investment Trends in Africa, he put forward some counter-intuitive views. They can be distilled into two myths. Continue reading »
What if your company has strong talent in Asia and you want them to join your headquarters located elsewhere, but they just don’t want to?
The world’s top academic institutions have noticed the trend a few years ago: their Chinese students aren’t looking for jobs in the west anymore – they prefer to return home to China. But it’s not just Chinese Ivy League or Oxbridge graduates that prefer jobs at home – many talented Asian employees don’t want to move away from their region for a job in the first place. Continue reading »
Forget the smartphone, the sports car, the gold jewellery. In the India of tomorrow, health will be the new wealth. “Tell me which gym you go to and I’ll tell you who you are: that could be true for India,” says Norbert Hueltenschmidt, health care specialist of consulting firm Bain & Company. Continue reading »
If a county’s future wealth and influence can be assessed by its American-educated intellectual elite, then China is well set.
In less than a decade, the number of Chinese studying in the US has quadrupled, from a little over 60,000 in 2004, to almost 240,000 in 2013, a report from the Institution for International Education shows. China now accounts for almost one in every three international students in the US, a historic high for any country. Continue reading »
It’s a good day for global health – and a good day for China National Biotec group, a leading Chinese vaccine manufacturer.
One of CNBG’s vaccines on Wednesday got “pre-qualified” by the World Health Organization for use all around the world, a first for a Chinese company. Continue reading »
China’s urbanisation is taking place at 10 times the pace of the first (that of the UK) and is 100 times the scale, according to McKinsey. Working out what’s going on can be pretty hard.
So, a final thought post-WEF in Dalian: industry experts share three Chinese “big city trends” – in real estate, consumption patterns, and employment. Continue reading »
Is not tailoring your food and drinks to Chinese taste a form of “food neo-colonialism”, as Roland Decorvet of Nestle China put it last year? Illycaffe, the Italian premium coffee roaster, thinks not.
Even as it looks to grind away Nestlé’s and Starbucks’ lead in China – a market that’s posting double-digit growth and which is worth about $1.5bn last year – the company says it has no plans to “localise” it product for the Chinese market. Continue reading »
The Chinese government is betting on domestic consumption and export to provide the next wave of growth – but they might not be able to fund the companies for it. In response, Chinese companies will increasingly need to look for private sector investors at home and abroad to answer the call.
So says Michael Andrew, global chairman of advisory firm KPMG, speaking to beyondbrics at the WEF in Dalian, China. Continue reading »
You are on national television in a country known for censorship. You are talking to one of that country’s most influential policy makers. What do you tell him? That the country’s companies have serious problems with transparency, ethical practices and treatment of employees. Are you dreaming?
Not if your name is Richard Edelman, head the world’s largest independent public relations company. It has just happened to you at the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China. Continue reading »
“How many Chinese brands can you name?”, a Chinese host asked at the beginning of the WEF session on ‘Rebranding China’. His American interviewee, Richard Edelman, knew only three: Huawei, Air China, and Lenovo.
But this isn’t Edelman’s problem. The limited awareness about Chinese brands is mostly due to the faulty branding strategy by Chinese companies going abroad themselves. What then, can they do about it? Continue reading »