Global outlook: big spenders and penny-pinchers
In the US, extravagance is a normal way of life. In China, it is a sin. Such contrasting consumer psyche between the two economies needs to be evened out before a sustained recovery of the post-bubble global economy can be achieved in the longer run, says Stephen Roach, chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia.
African entrepreneurs must pressure governments to regulate business environments
Although many African companies will be hit by the current global slowdown, there is a lot that local entrepreneurs and their governments can do to improve their business environments, says Arthur Levi, former head of the World Bank’s private sector arm, International Finance Corporation (IFC) Europe.
World Bank to double lending to emerging economies in wake of crisis
The World Bank is aiming to double its lending to emerging economies that are most vulnerable from the fallout of the global financial crisis, World Bank president Robert Zoellick said at a recent forum in Singapore organised by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
Steering a new course in unchartered waters
With credit getting tighter, companies are going to have to change the way they do business and manage their cash. Laurence Danon, executive board member of Edmond de Rothschild Corporate Finance in France, says we are likely to see companies implementing huge cost-savings plans, probably with significant layoffs and dramatic changes to capital expenditure and development programmes.
Asia feels the pain caused by the crisis but could be poised for rapid recovery
Asia can’t escape the financial and economic crisis that is battering the rest of the world, but the region may be poised for a more rapid recovery if leaders in business and government work together and show leadership.
Sustainability: a business opportunity
By the year 2040, only 15 per cent of the world's population will be living in what are now called developed countries. It's therefore essential for today's business planners to start focusing on the rest of the planet. Fortunately a strategy centred on emerging markets can be both financially profitable and socially responsible, says Barbara Kux of the Dutch multinational Royal Philips Electronics.
"Developing countries are a fantastic source of opportunities for companies," says Kux,
Cathay Pacific takes off cautiously to brighter skies
At its Annual General Meeting recently, IATA (International Air Transport Association) predicted that the industry will recover faster than expected, with Asia-Pacific carriers powering the upturn. INSEAD Knowledge takes a closer look at the performance of one of these airlines: the flag carrier of Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific.
The emerging markets: exploring the consequences
The rapid development of countries like China and India is a remarkable phenomenon, says Vince Cable, the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. “In a matter of one generation, China has broken through to a degree that took over a century in Britain. Solidly established precedents like South Korea show that this breakthrough can be sustained. It is clear that major so-called emerging markets have already emerged.”
Numbers may not lie, but often their true significance lies in closer scrutiny. And a good example of this statement lies in the numbers used to tout the world’s great trade imbalance with China - a deficit that shows the EU trade deficit growing from 50 billion euros in 2000 to 297 billion in 2008. “But,” says Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the 153-member Geneva-based World Trade Organisation,
Green Technology: China Means Business
A substantial portion of the Chinese government’s stimulus package, more than a third in fact, has been earmarked for projects that would either, directly or indirectly, have a positive environmental impact. Are these green initiatives indicative of a broader strategic stance on the part of the Chinese government on environmental issues, or just a temporary boost to China’s economy and the country’s image?
A ‘naive response’ to economic growth?
With many economies expected to begin posting growth again this year, the group executive director and CEO of wholesale banking at Standard Chartered Bank has some words of caution: accepting GDP figures at face value “would be a naïve response”.
Gaining a competitive advantage with knowledge-based skills
The financial crisis has highlighted deficiencies in knowledge-based skills in Europe and unless they’re tackled now, the region could get left behind. That was one of the key messages from an event held recently at INSEAD’s Europe campus in France.
What’s next after Copenhagen?
Was there too much riding on the United Nations Climate Change Conference which concluded in Copenhagen at the weekend?
A tale of two banks: hallmarks of the changing financial landscape
It would be difficult to find two financial institutions more indicative of the plus and minus sides of the financial tsunami that hit the world of banking this year: on the one hand, ING, the venerable international Dutch bank, forced to go to the government for a 10 billion euro bailout and now facing public evisceration at the hands of EU regulators. On the other hand, Standard Chartered Bank, a bastion of banking in Asia since the era of British imperial rule.
Personal view: Welcome, ‘Stateholder’
The amount of government capital injected into the so-called “private economy” since mid-2008 is unprecedented. The United States and United Kingdom led the way, but many other countries drifted into the same uncharted waters. So now what?
Book review: The Indian Renaissance
Economics examiners must love China and India. What a perfect pair of rising economic Asian giants to use for a compare-and-contrast question for their students. A thousand years ago, both countries were civilised and technologically advanced while Europeans huddled in draughty castles and a gnawed meat off bones. Both countries missed out on the Industrial Revolution, and seemed bewildered by the rise of the barbarian West. But they succumbed to its domination, shook it off in the 1940s, then e
Personal view: some advice to climate scientists on ethics from a finance professor
Climate scientists from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia have come under fire for alleged data manipulation following the release of thousands of emails and documents. As a result of ‘ClimateGate,’ some of the climatologists involved have stepped aside or are under investigation by their university.
Planning for the unthinkable
We’ve been so focused on the financial crisis that we’ve neglected to pay attention to other issues, which, if left on the backburner, could upset the status quo. That’s the view of futurist and business strategist Peter Schwartz.
Powering the economic growth engine
It has been a key driving force, powering economies since the Industrial Revolution, yet it continues to take a backseat to other heavily-touted engines of growth, most recently consumer spending.
SMEs in times of crisis: the need for speed
Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) matter; and without a healthy SME sector, economic recovery is unthinkable and Europe’s future prosperity and competitiveness are at stake. That’s the view of Arndt G. Kirchhoff, CEO of Kirchhoff Automotive and chairman of the SME Committee of business lobby group BusinessEurope.