Category Archives: Globalization

China and Innovation – Now Overtaking Japan

It’s not that long ago that a colleague told me that innovation would come out of China two generations hence. I did not believe him after seeing a little of what China was doing first hand.

Interesting to read this article today in the Start Advertiser:

As a result, China is expected to overtake Japan soon as the world’s second-largest R&D investor, although it still remains far behind the U.S. China’s domestic doctorate awards in science and engineering have also increased more than tenfold since the early 1990s, and its share of the global pool of researchers has grown from less than 14 percent in 2002 to more than 20 percent today. 

Only a few years ago, China’s approach to innovation hardly played a role in international economic diplomacy. Today, it is a hot topic in U.S.-China economic relations, adding further to contentious disputes about exchange rates, trade and foreign direct investment.

The article continues:

Rather than fearing China, we need to focus our research and policy debates constructively on how this relationship can be improved.

I could not agree more. The entire article can be found here.

And now this in the Harvard Business Review Blog on August 4 for another perspective.

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The Economics of Happiness – is Globalization Retreating?

I cannot wait to see the movie The Economics of Happiness. For a long time I have been a real fan of globalization – and the underlying technology that makes it possible.

However the trailer (see below) of The Economics of Happiness tells a different story – the real desire of the community to go back to the “village atmosphere”, where once again manufacturing was local. And indeed, the economics of this seem to back up this move.

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India Lagging in Digital Technology

Maplecroft has today released research figures that shows that of the BRIC nations, India is at ‘extreme risk” with respect to their population becoming stifled by a lack of digital inclusion i.e. the ability for their population to use and access ICT technology. Maplecroft uses 10 indicators to calculate the level of digital inclusion found across 186 countries. These include numbers of mobile cellular and broadband subscriptions; fixed telephone lines; households with a PC and television; internet users and secure internet servers; internet bandwidth; secondary education enrolment; and adult literacy.

Of the BRIC nations, India (39) is the only country to be classified as ‘extreme risk’, meaning that the country’s population suffers from a severe lack of digital inclusion. China (103) Brazil (110) and Russia (134) are rated ‘medium risk’. Despite huge economic growth, the BRICs nations are still significantly outperformed by developed nations in the Digital Inclusion Index. The countries with the best access to ICTs are the Netherlands (186), Denmark (185), Luxembourg (184), Sweden (183) and the UK (182). Trends suggest that the BRICs nations may not lag behind for much longer however.

Read more here.

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Are you a fence-sitter? A Lost Soul? Or a Transformer?

Great video about life, change and who you really are.

Vineet Nayar and his team have committed HCL to a goal—reverse accountability. David Kirkpatrick, then Fortune magazine’s top tech writer, profiled the company in an piece entitled: The World’s Most Modern Management—In India. More recently, HCL has been the focus of a series of Harvard Business School case studies.

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Global R&D to Grow 3.6% – China well ahead

The global R&D outlook for 2011 is increasingly stable and positive, according to analysis performed by Battelle Memorial Institute and R&D Magazine. Having endured one of the worst recessionary periods in recent memory, R&D managers are adapting to expectations of moderate sustainable growth while competing on a global scale for market share and resources. Reflecting recent trends, prospects for R&D funding vary by region, with the United States (U.S.) expecting R&D growth to track GDP growth, Europe contemplating fiscal austerity that may restrict investment for several years, and most Asian countries maintaining strong financial commitments to R&D.

Total global spending on R&D is anticipated to increase 3.6%, to almost $1.2 trillion. With Asia’s stake continuing to increase, the geographic distribution of this investment will continue a shift begun more than five years ago. The U.S., however, still dominates absolute spending at a level well above its share of global GDP.

During the recession, the Asian R&D communities generally, and China specifically, increased their R&D investment and stature. As a Reuters headline noted, “While the world slashed R&D in a crisis, China innovated”. China entered the recession with a decade of strong economic growth. During that time, it increased R&D spending roughly 10% each year—a pace the country maintained during the 2008-2009 recession. This sustained commitment set China apart from many other nations.

In the U.S., a recession-related drop in industrial R&D spending in 2009 is expected to be recovered by increases in 2010 and 2011 at levels exceeding the rate of inflation.

Among the global research communities, the state of R&D in the European Union (EU) is the most concerning. Challenged by weak economies in Greece, Spain, and Ireland, Europe is struggling to recover from the recession and to cut deficits, which in turn affects government support of R&D.

Read the full report here.

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Tata, Innovation and Ideation

Most of us will have heard about the low cost car that is set to revolutionize travel in India. Many of us will have heard of its innovative model of distribution throughout the country. But not many of us have linked the innovation by Tata to ideation.

But it is.

An executive of an Indian conglomerate credited a corporate culture that encourages innovation with the creation of the world’s cheapest everyday car, a fuel-efficient, $2,500 four-seater that the company plans to export to Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.

Sunil Sinha, an executive in Tata Quality Management Services, told a Harvard audience Tuesday (Oct. 12) that the car was the result of an unlikely — but public — promise that the company’s leader made in 2003, setting to work a team of engineers charged with rethinking how cars could be designed and made. The result, which went on sale last year, is the Tata Nano, a tiny, two-cylinder model that gets 55 miles per gallon and meets all of India’s vehicle emissions and regulatory requirements.

So where does ideation fit in? Sinha described a culture of innovation at Tata that includes employee-awards programs for both successful and unsuccessful ideas. What’s important, Sinha said, is that employees feel comfortable in bringing forward ideas, even ones that don’t pan out, and that they feel they work in a place that values fresh thinking.

The innovation culture has produced several notable products, he said. One is a water purification system that costs just $20 and produces enough water to keep a family of four supplied for more than a year.

Read the full article here. If I find a video of the talk, I will post it.

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How do we address culture in a Globalized World?

I thought this was an interesting perspective on globalisation
http://www.fastcompany.com/1689868/bridging-across-cultures-or-developing-a-global-culture-which-way-is-the-business-world-head

Points of relevance are:

  • In a globalised world, culture is usually ignored
  • Rather than flattening culture in a flat world, we should be embracing and harnessing differences.
  • We are not good at working across different cultures
  • Are we addressing the following issues in a globalized world?: individual versus collective orientation, patterns of activity, work habits, dress, language, gender roles, hierarchy, view of time, communication practices, tastes

We have the opportunity to harness cultural differences as we globalize, but I do not believe we are successful at doing so. Large corporates, with centralized practices such as HR, finance, etc, tend to continue to roll out the western culture machine irrespective of location – China, India, etc. The local satellites struggle to integrate  western practices locally – those employees who fail are deemed to be not resilient enough in a global economy.

The opportunity is to harness the differences in culture, embrace and capitalize on them, not flatten them with the western steamroller.

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The Strategy Group

The Strategy Group delivers real value in the areas of business and organisational strategy development and implementation, innovation acceleration, business model collaboration and globalisation. We provide business impact to you and to all our clients. The Strategy Group team has years of business experience in hands-on commercial roles, and as such will deliver exceptional value and outcomes.

Clients of The Strategy Group include many brand names in the private and public sector, including Cisco Systems, PepsiCo, Kraft, Unilever, the Australian Government, the ACT Government,  Amadeus, the Frame Group and Telstra.

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You must watch Hans Rosling!

If you have fifteen minutes, please watch this video. Even if you don’t, you need to watch it anyway. Make the time!

Not only is it an eye opener about the rise and rise of India and China as economies, Hans’ presentation is unbelievably stimulating. Forget the tie and suit PowerPoint presentation – I wish every talk I went to (and gave) was just like this one.

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The Next Generation is unprepared for Globalization

Today’s university students are extremely concerned with issues of globalization and sustainability, but only four out of 10 believe their education has prepared them to address these issues, according to a new IBM study designed to gauge the attitudes and opinions of the next-generation global workforce and business leaders.

This survey — which asked university students the same questions posed to global business leaders in IBM’s 2010 Global CEO Study — finds that both students and CEOs believe creativity is the most important emerging competency of future leaders; and reveals clear confidence about the ability of information technologies to address looming issues in business or society.

Conducted through IBM’s Institute for Business Value, the Study, “Inheriting a Complex World: Future Leaders Envision Sharing the Planet,” reflects the consolidated view of more than 3,600 students in more than 40 countries.

The study reveals a discerning and decidedly optimistic new ethos — based on an integrated view of globalization, sustainability and belief in technology as a path to solutions to emerging and existing problems. Almost 50 percent of students said that organizations should optimize their operations by globalizing, rather than localizing, to meet their strategic objectives.

At the same time, these students describe a gap in this generation’s training to cope with issues that will arise in an increasingly interconnected and complex world, but a strong belief that information technologies can bridge the gap.

Within four years, this “Millennial generation” will make up half of the global workforce. Despite the economic environment and the challenges students may face entering the current job market, the findings from this study were characterized by an unmistakably optimistic outlook about what’s ahead – and their capacity to affect change in the world they will inherit.

Students surveyed indicated that they will lean more heavily on data analysis — over gut instinct or existing “best practices” — to reach their strategic and operational goals as business leaders in their own right. And as fact-based decisions begin to prevail, they may need to pioneer an entirely new management style — one that continually enriches personal experience and education with new sources of insight based on a new ability deal with the explosion of real-time information.

The study revealed broad-based confidence that increased access to information, analysis, and the resulting insight can reduce uncertainty about the future.

Clearly, the students’ experience regarding globalization is different.  Growing up more connected globally, students see the shocks and threats, but are more prone to view globalization as an opportunity to solve increasingly global problems. They are strongly committed to a global view of shared responsibility for both environmental issues and societal prosperity.

Given students’ concerns about globalization and sustainability, the Study found a gap in educational experiences, as well as business expectations. Asked how well their education has prepared them in a number of areas, only four out of 10 students believe their education has prepared them well to address these issues.

In China, 76 percent of students value global thinking as a top leadership quality, more than students anywhere else. Yet, only 38 percent of students in China believe their education has prepared them for global citizenship, which is lower than students in any other region.

Only 17 percent of students in Japan, less than any other region, believe their education has prepared them well to benefit from the growth of emerging markets.

Understanding these and other sharp differences emerging by geography is increasingly important as economies and societies become more closely linked. Students will confront these differences as they increasingly become the future leaders of business and organizations.

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Insights – IBM 2010 Global CEO Study

IBM Has recently released its 2010 Global CEO Study. An excellent document that should be read by all, as it summarizes what is on the minds of CEOs around the globe, and, for those organizations that are looking to be more customer-centric (and that has to be every organization) understanding what the customer is thinking about is paramount.

Highlights of the executive summary are below, but I have also developed a PowerPoint summary of the document that I prepared as bedtime reading for all of us.

Today’s complexity is only expected to rise, and more than half of CEOs doubt their ability to manage it. Seventy-nine percent of CEOs anticipate even greater complexity ahead. However, one set of organizations — we call them “Standouts” — has turned increased complexity into financial advantage over the past five years.

Creativity is the most important leadership quality, according to CEOs. Standouts practice and encourage experimentation and innovation throughout their organizations. Creative leaders expect to make deeper business model changes to realize their strategies. To succeed, they take more calculated risks, find new ideas, and keep innovating in how they lead and communicate.

The most successful organizations co-create products and services with customers, and integrate customers into core processes. They are adopting new channels to engage and stay in tune with customers. By drawing more insight from the available data, successful CEOs make customer intimacy their number-one priority.

Better performers manage complexity on behalf of their organizations, customers and partners. They do so by simplifying operations and products, and increasing dexterity to change the way they work, access resources and enter markets around the world. Compared to other CEOs, dexterous leaders expect 20 percent more future revenue to come from new sources.

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Five forces reshaping the global economy – from McKinsey

The core drivers of globalization are alive and well, but executives are still grappling with how to seize the opportunities of an interlinked world economy.

In this sixth annual survey asking executives about the forces shaping the world economy, there is little change in how respondents view the importance of global trends compared with previous years—either for business in general or for their own companies’ profits. Clearly, the financial crisis and economic downturn have not shaken these key trends. Continued faith in the positive effects of globalization combined with a move away from short-term planning likely reflects rebounding optimism about global economic prospects and is consistent with the findings of other McKinsey surveys on the economy.

Read the complete report.

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The Case for Backshoring – Returning to the Fold

For years, the NCR Corporation simply followed the pack. Like many other large U.S. manufacturing companies, in the past couple of decades the maker of automated teller machines (ATMs) relied heavily on offshoring and outsourcing to trim factory costs. By making much of its equipment in cheaper offshore locations in the Asia/Pacific region, and by hiring Singapore’s Flextronics International Ltd. to make other equipment, NCR could slash hundreds of millions of dollars in plant expenses and be reasonably certain that its ATMs met quality standards.

But recently, NCR has rejected this strategy — at least to a degree. In 2009, the company decided to move its most sophisticated lines of ATMs from its plants in China and India, and from a Flextronics facility in South Carolina, and instead manufacture the machines in Columbus, Ga., not far from the NCR innovation center, where its new technology is on display. The reason: The company was concerned that outsourcing distanced its designers, engineers, IT experts, and customers from the manufacturing of the equipment, creating a set of silos that potentially hindered the company’s ability to turn out new models with new features fast enough to satisfy its client banks. “I think you’ll see more of this occurring,” says Peter Dorsman, NCR’s senior vice president in charge of global operations, who says he has been contacted by dozens of U.S. companies studying whether they should make similar moves. “You’ll see a lot more people returning manufacturing to America.” Read entire report.

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New Accenture Study on Globalization released at World Economic Forum

A combination of intensified globalization brought on by recent turbulence in the global economy and the acceleration of new information technologies is driving companies and governments to look for new business models to meet increased demands for efficiency, competitiveness, short-term agility and long-term growth. This is one of the key findings of a study released today by Accenture at the World Economic Forum.

According to the study (download here), based on a survey of more than 400 business leaders globally as well as a year-long field analysis of business and technology developments, such maturing technologies as cloud computing, mobile communications and collaborative computing will offer companies the “hidden wiring” required to compete in a multi-polar world, one in which emerging markets are challenging the traditional strengths of more mature economies.

Throughout the global economic crisis, emerging markets have demonstrated resiliency and weathered the storm as well as — if not better than — more mature markets due to strong local growth, highly competitive cost structures and an ability to serve customers at low price points. This challenge has not been lost on the executives polled by Accenture: 88 percent conceded that their companies have not done enough to develop effective strategic responses to the new disruptive business environment.

When asked which factors will have the most significant impact on their business over the next five years, 41 percent of the executives surveyed said it would be the growth in size and reach of new players in emerging markets, followed by an increase in IT capabilities (35 percent) and slower economic growth in developed markets (27 percent). Respondents also said that the most significant challenges raised by future developments in information technology would be managing complex networks of suppliers, business partners and customers (37 percent), followed by protecting proprietary information and data (28 percent) and competition for technologically and analytically skilled employees (27 percent).

The study, “From Global Connection to Global Orchestration: Future Business Models For High Performance Where Technology and the Multi-polar World Meet,” finds that in the aftermath of recession, new economic value will be created through a combination of the effective use of new technologies and strategies to address the dynamics of globalization. Business leaders surveyed by Accenture highlighted the growth in size and reach of new market players from emerging markets and the increased capabilities that new information technologies provide as the two developments that will have the most significant impact on their business over the next five years.

“Together, these forces are accelerating the need for companies to master five competitive and interdependent dimensions of business: new consumers, talent, innovation, capital, and resources,” said Mark Foster, Accenture’s group chief executive, Global Markets and Management Consulting. “Our research shows that high performers in both developed and emerging markets are looking to leverage information technology with a certainty and pace that will give them the flexibility to adapt their business models and stay ahead of the competition as new economic circumstances arise.”

According to the study, economic power shifts between companies and individuals and between national economies are becoming more common, creating greater business complexity with more people to buy from and sell to, as well as more competitors. At the same time, this complexity is fostering more ways to create economic value. Accenture has identified six market-shaping interactions that have the ability to create new economic value:

— Co-production with customers. Companies are finding more opportunities to engage with customers and suppliers in such areas as co-producing products and sourcing ideas as a part of the innovation process.

— New bridges between producers and consumers. Intermediaries are using technology to build new bridges between producers and consumers, helping companies extend the markets they serve, particularly in emerging-market economies. Nearly sixty percent of business leaders surveyed for the study said that greater consumer connectivity would have a significant or very significant impact on competition in their industries over the next five years, with the proportion even higher among business leaders from emerging markets compared with those from developed markets (68 percent compared with 56 percent)

— New forms of business-to-business (B2B) commerce. New forms of B2B activity are becoming technologically possible, advancing the promise of “e-markets” first discussed a decade ago. Hong Kong-based Li & Fung, for example, has used information technology to transform itself into a global, horizontal provider of services traditionally performed internally by retailers and wholesalers — services such as supply chain management, production and operations. This is an especially powerful trend that is helping make cost structures more variable in a volatile world.

— Consumer-to-consumer content. Technology is enabling like-minded consumers to form clusters of cooperative structures that span multiple countries and regions in order to share information, evaluate products and services and conduct purchases. Accenture’s research reveals that 57 percent of executives believe the growing bargaining power of knowledgeable consumers will significantly affect competition in their industries over the next five years. Business leaders in emerging markets are especially alert to this trend, with 67 percent expressing this view, compared with 52 percent of executives in developed markets.

— Peer-to-peer production. Individuals can form groups that provide products and services to reduce the market power of existing suppliers or to exert greater control over the way a product or service is produced or consumed. International peer-to-peer microfinance platforms are making possible new forms of lending to small entrepreneurs in high-growth economies.

— Cooperative consumption. The growth of social networking and digitization enables consumers to form clusters that boost their bargaining power. Shanghai-based Liba.com, founded in 2003, which sells everything from paint to ceiling lamps, now has 1.6 million members. Liba.com has 300,000 unique visitors a day on its website and produces approximately 30,000 transactions a month during group buying events in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and elsewhere.

According to Foster, in order to create new forms of economic value and growth, companies can take advantage of any or all of these new combinations of production, collaboration and consumption to reshape their business models ahead of the competition.

“Responding to the newly complex and competitive ecosystem will require businesses to re-evaluate the roles they have played and the sources of value that they have followed traditionally,” Foster said. “However, organizations also have a great opportunity to harness these new market forces to their advantage to optimize, extend and transform their business models.”

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Globalisation shapes Employees skills

From CNN

Responding to globalization of the workplace, employees worldwide are developing a new suite of cross-cultural and language skills that will equip them to prosper in a more multinational environment, according to recent findings from a global workplace survey.

The survey, by global workforce solutions leader Kelly Services (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB), finds that individuals across all generations believe the experience they gain in a globally oriented environment will be critical to their careers.

Gen X (aged 30-47) reports the most direct experience within a global business environment, while Gen Y (aged 18-29) is driving the trend toward globalization, making international experience central to their job selection and promotion. Although baby boomers (aged 48-65) receive less formal support and training than their younger colleagues, they still feel they can succeed in a globalized workplace.

The findings are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 90,000 people in 33 countries across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

Employees around the globe are recognizing how to thrive in a workplace with fewer international barriers, according to Kelly Services Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, George Corona.

“Exposure to the international workplace is becoming the norm as more highly skilled people develop the capacity to export their talents wherever needed around the globe,” Corona says. “In this environment, the ability to work collaboratively with multinational teams is a critical requirement that we expect to become more commonplace.”

Key findings of the survey reveal that:

--  81 percent of Gen Y believe it is important to their career prospects
    that they become more globally oriented, followed by Gen X (78 percent) and
    baby boomers (71 percent).
--  69 percent of Gen X have recently worked closely with colleagues from
    a different country or culture, followed by Gen Y (67 percent) and baby
    boomers (66 percent).
--  84 percent of Gen X feel that they possess the skills to work in a
    more globally oriented workplace, followed by Gen Y (82 percent) and baby
    boomers (81 percent).
--  In deciding where to work, exposure to a global environment is
    considered 'extremely important' by 32 percent of Gen Y, 30 percent of Gen
    X, and 26 percent of baby boomers.
--  Only 35 percent of Gen Y receive formal cross-cultural or language
    training from their employers, followed by Gen X (33 percent) and baby
    boomers (27 percent).     

Although Gen X and baby boomers have more international experience, Gen Y more readily embraces that experience as a factor in determining future job choice and career progression. Gen Y also receives the bulk of employer-provided training.

“We are seeing a generation emerge that is very confident operating in a global environment. This will lead to many more transferrable skills, and a business dynamic where human capital can be deployed seamlessly to almost any location on short notice.

“Given the significant role this will play in transacting future business and attracting new talent, we expect to see many more firms devoting resources to equip staff with the language, culture, and flexibility they need to be successful in a truly global context,” Corona concludes.

For more information on the survey results, please visit www.kellyservices.com.

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Some Really Interesting Facts on Asia and Europe

Some interesting, perhaps little-known facts provide a useful contrast between Asia and Europe and demonstrate both the present-day reality and the scope of the future opportunity:

  • GDP per capita in Asia (approximately US$15,000) is less than half the EU average, and there is a much wider standard distribution. A large population lives in poverty throughout the continent.
  • While India and China are among the fastest-growing economies in the world, the latest figures on GDP per capita are $2,800 for India and $6,000 for China. They should both still be considered developing economies.
  • The top GDP per capita countries (2008) in Asia: Singapore ($52K), Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea ($23K), Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Thailand ($8.5K).
  • India has 22 official languages that are as distinct and different as the 23 EU languages; half a dozen different scripts are used. English is spoken by a mere 7 percent of the people in India. However, it is possible to get deep penetration into the Indian market with five key languages.
  • There is very little content in local Asian languages on the Web, in general. Based on a survey done by Asia Online in 2007, less than 15 percent of the total content on the Web is in Asian languages. Almost 90 percent of the Asian language content is in Chinese and Japanese. There is a huge need for more local language content in Southeast Asia.
  • China now has the fastest-growing patent office in the world. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) states that China is clearly an emerging scientific and technological power.The share of Asian country-based patent filings is now in excess of 50 percent of all patents filed across the world.
  • India has more gifted and talented students in high school than the total school student population in the U.S. China has more students in science and technology college degree programs than India and the U.S. combined.
  • McKinsey & Company has identified a “Rising Asia” as a stable long-term trend that will fundamentally change consumption patterns.
  • Gartner (NYSE: IT) suggests using IT to reach the market. The research firm suggests that global companies use IT to “lighten” their Asian business model in order to address specific cultural, geographic reach, and supply chain considerations.
  • Wealthy Asians are concentrated in major cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Delhi, Seoul, Manila and Bangkok.
  • China is now the fastest-growing market for Bentley and BMW.
  • Even countries like Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Cambodia — which have very low GDP/capita — are interesting markets for cellphones and basic commodities.
  • An understanding of the critical perspectives of Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism can dramatically enhance communications strategies targeting most parts of Asia.
  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is not dominant in key Asian markets. In Korea, it has less than 2 percent search market share; in China, about 17 percent; and in Japan, about 20 percent. Local companies dominate because of their better understanding of local content, language and customer Increase Customer Sales with Email Marketing -- Free Trial from VerticalResponse preferences. This suggests that standard U.S. approaches may not work well in many Asian markets.
  • Chinese social networking startups have produced many innovations that have led to their becoming profitable much faster than their U.S. equivalents, like MySpace and Facebook. Asian innovation is gradually making its way to the West.
  • Most of Asia has been relatively unscathed by the global financial and real estate market collapse. (source Commerce Times)

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Hyundai and its Success at Globalization

Great story from the Korea Times. When Hyundai Engineering & Construction CEO Kim Joong-kyum took office early this year, the construction market both at home and abroad was not in good shape.

The financial crisis slowed down many large-scale projects overseas, while the domestic market continued to be bogged down by a record-high number of unsold homes. Orders were shrinking with competition at its highest.

All of this meant that the pressure was on for Kim, who was responsible for steering Hyundai E&C through one of the worst economic slumps in history.

Seven months into serving as the top chief, however, Kim has put most of the uncertainties and concerns behind by posting solid records right through the downturn.

Locally, the builder started ramping up efforts to win orders for housing redevelopment projects throughout the metropolitan area and mega public undertakings scattered nationwide.

Overseas, Hyundai E&C won a $1.3-billion gas exploration contract in Saudi Arabia in March. Then, in June and July, it won orders worth $600 million and $1.7 billion, respectively, in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. Most recently, the company added a $190-million order to build a fertilizer plant in Qatar earlier this month.

The figures added up to hand over Hyundai E&C the market’s No. 1 position again last month after six years struggling to reclaim the top spot.

And many credit Kim for helping one of the nation’s oldest builders renew its industry supremacy.

The veteran Hyundai executive’s willingness to seek transformation and differentiation is what moved the 62-year-old company forward.

Since the first day of taking office, Hyundai E&C officials say that Kim was all about overhauling decades-old systems and practices. Everything from personnel line-up and global management to internal and external communication, the new CEO wanted changed and improved.

Kim said during his inaugural speech: “Hyundai E&C has endured a countless number of hardships throughout its history, but it continued to maintain its market leadership. At this time, what we need is continuous transformation in order to become a global top leader.”

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Emerging Markets post Record Highs

Investor Mark Mobius said he expects emerging markets to surpass previous records, predicting a continued rally with “corrections along the way.”

“If the money supply keeps on growing we will continue to see a bull market,” Mobius, who oversees about $25 billion as Templeton Asset Management Ltd.’s Singapore-based executive chairman, said in an interview in Manila. “We are just halfway from where we were before and we will surpass previous highs.”

Emerging-market stocks rose to a 13-month high yesterday as investors sought higher-yielding assets on expectations of a global economic recovery. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 0.8 percent as of 11:52 a.m. in London today.

“We will see a pretty fast pickup in earnings and that’s what markets are anticipating,” said Mobius, who spoke in an investors conference in Manila. He said he prefers consumer and commodities industries in emerging markets.

Apart from Brazil, Russia, India, and China, Pakistan and Turkey are “quite interesting now and we are adding to some of our holdings on a slight basis,” Mobius said. He said he is “bullish” on oil, driven by rising crude demand in China and India. He declined to name companies.

The “secular bull market” that pushed emerging-nation equities to the highest level relative to developed world stocks in 15 years has further to run, Jonathan Garner, Morgan Stanley’s chief Asian and emerging-market strategist, said this week. See full report from Bloomberg.

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Clinton talks about effects of globalization

Former President Bill Clinton spoke to a sold out crowd at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in the USA on Monday, lecturing about the current political climate while detailing the advantages and pitfalls of living in an increasingly interdependent world.

Entering to an enthusiastic standing ovation in the 2,900-seat theater, Clinton shared his take on globalization and its effects, focusing on the challenges he believes an interdependent world faces.

“While we’re all connected, this is a very unequal world and in most places it’s growing more unequal,” Clinton said.

Clinton discussed pervasive discrimination that remains against women in most parts of the world as well as the growing income disparity in the U.S. He spent a

significant amount of time arguing for health care reform.

“We’re the only rich country in the world that can’t figure out how to give everybody health insurance,” he said, calling our current system “embarrassing.”

Clinton also addressed humanitarian intervention in the world, arguing that such intervention increased national security by improving the image of the country abroad.

“Anything we do to make chances slightly more balanced makes people think more of us,” Clinton said, adding that he recently returned from a humanitarian visit to Haiti.

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The Rise and Rise of China

For decades, China followed the dictum of its late supreme leader, Deng Xiaoping, to keep its head down abroad and focus on development at home. But earlier this decade, emboldened by success and mindful that their globalized economy needs stability, communist leaders started pressing for a place among the nations that manage world affairs.

These days, Beijing is claiming a bigger voice in global economic forums such as the Group of 20 and is getting more deference in the United Nations, which could mean protection for friends such as Iran and Myanmar. Its military spending is the world’s second-highest, behind that of the United States.

Explosive growth in China and India, coupled with Japan’s clout as the world’s No. 2 economy, has long been expected to shift economic power from the United States to Asia as this century progresses. The financial crisis and resulting Great Recession are accelerating that process.

“China certainly comes out of the crisis stronger rather than weaker, and it’s the opposite for the United States,” says Stephen Roach, chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia.

Even some Americans have begun declaring this the “Chinese century” since it began nearly a decade ago. But while they and others fear the rise of China in international relations and the global economy, the reality is less dramatic: Beijing is still getting its own sprawling, chaotic house in order and is in no position to supplant the United States as global leader in the near future.

At the same time, Beijing’s power remains undefined: On an unfamiliar global stage, it is unsure what role it wants to play.

“China is very likely to be the second-most-powerful country — if it isn’t now, then within a decade,” says Kenneth Lieberthal, director of the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center in Washington.

For the United States, it’s a mixed blessing. The American and Chinese economies are intertwined, and the success of one depends on the health of the other.

The United States is China’s biggest trade partner. China sent $338 billion in goods here last year. Beijing is Washington’s biggest creditor, with more than $800 billion invested in government debt. American automakers look to China’s growing market to propel future sales.

The financial crisis set back U.S. growth by years and will add trillions to the federal debt over the next decade. But China avoided the worst of the crisis. Its banks are healthy and, with the help of a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus, this year’s economic growth is on track to top 8 percent. See complete ap story..

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