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Investment News and Commentary from Emerging Markets in Asia - China, India and ASEAN

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2point6billion.com discusses business and investment news rising from the geopolitical relations of China and India, and the interactions these two countries have with the rest of emerging Asia.

Monthly Archives: May 2007

Free Trade Zones in China and India

The 3rd of our Opinion articles in the Shanghai Daily:



Source: Shanghai Daily, Opinion Section, May 30th, 2007 http://www.shanghaidaily.com/sp/article/2007/200705/20070530/article_317673.htm

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2nd China-India Working Group Session – Event Invitation






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China outsourcing: All hype?

cer.JPGA critical yet edgy piece (very comparitive!) on whether China has the umph and brains to out-do India in outsourcing…  Highly doubt it! 

This piece was shared by friends of and contributors to 2point6billion, the China Economic Review Editors.  Thanks guys!

The global outsourcing story has been a hot topic for years now. India remains its lead actor, with local firms like Infosys and Wipro hogging the limelight.

An emerging thread, however, has been China’s role in the so-called BPO (business process outsourcing) scene. This is a particularly juicy thread because it connects two of the biggest business stories in recent years, the ‘India outsourcing’ story and the ‘rising China’ story.

The general consensus seems to be that China is becoming an increasingly powerful player in global BPO, as befits its climb up the value chain from cheap manufacturer to sophisticated service provider. An Indian paper, DNA India, has this recent headline: “India being Bangalored by China”. Offshoring Times, a trade publication, has items headlined “Will India’s dominance wane?” and “China an emerging BPO hub.” A quick Google reveals plenty of similar articles.

A new report by Forrester Research seems to buck conventional wisdom. Here’s the summary from the website:

When Forrester first looked at China’s offshore and global delivery model (GDM) role nearly two years ago, the country was widely viewed as the key challenger to India for offshore supremacy. However, our latest research shows that to date the market has not taken off as expected. While there continues to be demand from Japan and multinationals with operations in China, the offshore business from the US and Europe has been slow to materialize. In fact, China’s percentage of GDM resources for the top services firms like Accenture has dropped, while India and the Philippines have seen far greater investment.

The report also sparked an insightful discussion at a Computerworld blog. Some of the reasons cited for China’s poor BPO performance were “high attrition rates, a lack of English-speaking workers, and inadequate intellectual property laws.” Commenter David Scott Lewis, a former analyst and now an executive at a China-based outsourcer, begged to differ: “Hey, analysts are not right about everything. But in both cases, they should stick to topics that they know. China is a topic that they don’t know, don’t understand. Their knowledge is way too superficial, idealistic, biased.” According to Lewis, all the factors Forrester mentioned were not significant.

The outsourcing business is ostensibly based on the bottom-line — how much money can be saved, how much more efficient can a process be — but perception seems to play a much bigger part in decision-making, at least on a global level. China’s ascendancy to the global outsourcing throne will not just be because of the hard data, it will also be because of image-making, hype and perception.

Posted in Foreign Trade | 1 Comment

China’s rank on a world poll

This poll conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and WorldPublicOpinion.org finds that “Less than a third of respondents in every country surveyed believe China’s rise will be ‘mostly negative’, with majorities in most countries anticipating a mixed or positive outcome.”  At the same time, “most Asians outside China, wary of Beijing’s military build-up, favor an ongoing U.S. security presence in the region.”

There’s a lot more to the article, so check it out…

a review on it at NewsWeek, China Will Soon Outpace America http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18906545/site/newsweek/

I’d be curious to see more polls like this on India.  Grateful if anyone out there would share such with us if you run upon anything.

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Our obsession with the rich – Chinese

Friend of 2point6billion, Jerry Stryker shares a comment on the rich Chinese.  Seems that all the little factoids churing out about the rich and how they got rich trigger some strange deep-down interest of ours hidden in the depths of our souls!  What’s yet more?  Let’s read on…

Geoffrey York satisfies the urge to know more about millionaires and billionaires in China with this article in Saturday’s Globe and Mail (“Canada’s National Newspaper”), which includes such eye-catching tidbits as:

Over the past two years, the average wealth of China’s richest people has soared by 48 per cent a year;

The skyrocketing wealth of China’s tycoons is best illustrated by a former peasant and bricklayer named Yang Guoqiang, whose family fortune soared to an estimated
$10-billion after his company made its debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last month;

When the owners of a hotel development company found five years ago that they were to be listed at No. 94, they disclosed their true wealth, enough to put them in the top five, where they’ve remained ever since;

All of China’s richest are first-generation entrepreneurs; none of them inherited any wealth;

Most of the richest Chinese people are relatively young, often under the age of 45, and a growing number, 35 of the top 500 on the latest list, are women;

Half of the top 10 richest people are property developers;

A political connection is still extremely helpful on the road to riches. (and a bunch of ‘interesting’ facts on this one but you’ll have to explore elsewhere for these…);

York has been working for The Globe and Mail since 1981 in a variety of positions in Canada and abroad.  He was Moscow bureau chief for eight years before taking over as Beijing bureau chief in 2002.

The full article can be found at: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070526.

Thanks for sharing these wacky facts with us Jerry!

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Future depends on education and the Chinese know it

First piece from our new contributor, Siddharth Soni whose blog ‘drumming’ http://profss.blogspot.com/, provides some very critical analysis on India’s education imperative.  His contribution is an observation and a selfless recognition of an important step that China has made to prioritize development (and improvement???) in education and the emphasis the government has placed on the need for training and producing more teachers.  A lesson to be learned for India perhaps but would India be willing and able to replicate such a model?


Chinese teachers’ colleges to offer free education soon

Yes, six of the top universities of China plan to waive all the expenses for students enrolled to become teachers and who’ve agreed to serve as teachers for 10 years after graduation. It is no small measure since it involves enrolling 12000 students and taking taking care of expenses to the tune of $5120 per student at least. And if this measure succeeds in the six universities, it would be implemented in other Chinese universities too. This initiative doesn’t just include imparting education to future teachers but it also ensures suitable employment in middle and primary school once students graduate.

Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, sums it up in these words:

“The measure will demonstrate to the general public the importance of the teaching field, create an atmosphere of respect for teachers and education in society, increase awareness of the value of the educational profession, produce large numbers of outstanding teachers, encourage prominent educators to run schools and spur more outstanding young people to become lifelong educators.”

Another point to note is that most of the students would be from Central and Western China, which are relatively under-developed areas.

Few more lessons for India to learn.

source, People’s Daily article: http://english.people.com.cn/200705/19/eng20070519_376042.html

and an outlook onto another facet of Chinese influence in the global educational arena…


Some time back, in one of his articles ‘Laughing and Crying’,  Thomas L. Friedman narrated his experience at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, one of America’s great science and engineering schools. Here’s an important part of the article:

First I had to laugh. Then I had to cry.

I took part in commencement this year at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, one of America’s great science and engineering schools, so I had a front-row seat as the first grads to receive their diplomas came on stage, all of them Ph.D. students. One by one the announcer read their names and each was handed their doctorate — in biotechnology, computing, physics and engineering — by the school’s president, Shirley Ann Jackson.

The reason I had to laugh was because it seemed like every one of the newly minted Ph.D.’s at Rensselaer was foreign born. For a moment, as the foreign names kept coming — “Hong Lu, Xu Xie, Tao Yuan, Fu Tang” — I thought that the entire class of doctoral students in physics were going to be Chinese, until “Paul Shane Morrow” saved the day. It was such a caricature of what President Jackson herself calls “the quiet crisis” in high-end science education in this country that you could only laugh.

There you go, the all-conquering swamping Chinese. While the description by Friedman overwhelms the reader and sounds like, “What are these Chinese doing… They are manufacturing PhDs like they manufacture goods”, it’s significant for countries like China and India to get so many countrymen to study and indulge in research at a higher level since that could result in development of indigenous technology and ways and means of doing things. And that to my mind, that would be the real development.

Thanks for sharing this Sid.  Look forward to the next one!

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A convenient-concentrated-comfort food

Another People’s Choice Winner at the same contest Panipuri by Thakkar

Thanks Shantanu!

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