Doug Vining Bearding the dragon

Among economists and analysts there is an almost universal consensus that by 2020, or 2030 or 2040, China will overtake America as the biggest economy in the world, and become the reigning economic superpower.

Well, I think they could be wrong. All of them.

Let's look at China for a second. Already the second largest economy, China is now the world's largest consumer of energy. After a hiatus following the Fukushima disaster, they are now pushing ahead with plans for more nuclear reactors. Dominating the global manufacturing scene, China is also sensitive to demand for its cheaply manufactured goods. The Euro crisis and depressed demand from other regions have caused China's headlong growth rate to falter. Add to that the fact that wages are rising and the middle class is growing, and we could see factories being outsourced to countries where wages are even lower, like Vietnam.

There's also the question of demographics. China has already reached a position where over 50% of the population is now urbanised, living in cities. While this trend will continue, it will in all probability slow down and reach a plateau. China also has an aging population, and a gender skew towards males, mainly due to the one-child policy. Put these all ...
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Posted: 9 January 2013 at 09:10

Wolfgang Grulke Bearding the dragon

"Bearding"? Perhaps this should have been published in Movember?
Posted: 11 January 2013 at 11:15

Doug Vining Peering into the MIST

Less than a year ago I wrote about the faltering BRICS. How growth rates were slipping, and various problems coming home to roost in each individual state. Those problems have not disappeared, and the BRICS continue to be in a state of flux right now.

Ever mindful of new investment opportunities, investors and analysts are focusing their attention on other dynamic markets, the biggest four, Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey forming the MIST grouping. In this fairly concise but interesting comparison of the BRICS vs MIST, Guillaume Corpart provides us with an insightful overview.

"Where they differ [from BRICS] is that each of them has, on average, managed to grow with lower inflation rates. Moreover, in addition to having sound fiscal policies and a robust financial sector, the cost of entry into these markets and the complexity of doing business there is far lower than what it would take to get a foothold in, let alone penetrate, BRICS markets."

That's the present, but what of the future? Probably the greatest opportunities lie with Mexico, making a big comeback as a manufacturing base for US markets, and Turkey, strongly entrepreneurial and well placed to capitalise on a changing world.

The future of these two ...
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Posted: 13 March 2013 at 08:41

Neil Jacobsohn Google Goggles to be made in the US

So here's news that the first Google Goggles will be the US! There's more and more evidence that the US is experiencing a manufacturing renaissance. Coupled to the natural gas revolution, which will dramatically reduce the US's dependence on oil imports, how long before the American economic powerhouse is back on track? Will China in fact become the No.1 economic force in the world, as has been widely predicted? Or will the US, in true Tiger Woods fashion, fight back to keep the top spot?
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Posted: 28 March 2013 at 11:20
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