Sept. 30 – The president of the World Bank cautioned U.S. authorities on Monday against assuming the dollar would maintain its role as the world’s reserve currency. Robert Zoellick said other currencies such as the euro and the Chinese yuan could win increasing acceptance in international currency markets.
Speaking at Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International studies in advance of the World Bank’s annual meeting next week in Istanbul, Zoellick said that China, Russia and India have indicated they want to see long-term changes in the international monetary system in the wake of the financial crisis that has pushed the world economy into its first synchronized downturn since World War II. Continue reading
The emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, or BRIC bloc of countries, represent 40 percent of the world’s population and together, a growing economic force. Throughout the next six weeks, Chris Devonshire-Ellis will travel to the four BRIC nations to observe the impact these countries are having on one another, and the impact they are having on the world. In this first article he focuses on the biggest economy of the four, China.
By Chris Devonshire-Ellis
BEIJING, Sept. 30 – China’s rise to dominance as a global manufacturing powerhouse has been as spectacular as it has impressive. Twenty years ago, as I stood on the Bund in Shanghai, a small sense of a city about to reawaken was in the air. The clock on the old HSBC bank building chimed the hour, and with the mid-1800s colonial buildings lining the waterfront, the city reminded me rather of Liverpool in England – somewhat genteel, a faded traded history and a sense of mildewed decay however permeated the air. Near the Peace Hotel, elderly couples paid 1 jiao to dance the tango from a selection of old 78s a vendor possessed. Some restaurants wouldn’t let me in as a “capitalist,” and it was forbidden for a foreigner to possess RMB. The massive department stores on Nanjing Xi Lu sold piles of Soviet-made rubber boots, and an evening meal could be a roast sparrow on a stick from the night market located just where Armani’s store at 3 on the Bund is now. Continue reading
Sept. 29 – Ford Motor Co. is counting on the emerging Asian market to compensate for the slump in Western markets with a third Chinese car plant set to be build in Chongqing, China.
The new plant will cost US$490 million and will manufacture an improved version of the Ford Focus by 2012. The plant will have an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles yearly thus raising Ford’s car capacity in China to 600,000.
Car manufacturers are shifting its focus to the Asian market by aggressively opening new plants and introducing smaller, more affordable cars. Beijing forecasts that vehicle sales will rise by 28 percent this year with the government’s huge stimulus plan in place. Continue reading
Sept. 29 – The Middle East is now one of India’s top markets for electronic exports with electronic hardware reporting 107 percent growth during 2008-09.
Indian electronics hardware exports to the Middle East rose by 14.81 percent to 12.53 percent making its the third top destination for Indian electronics hardware export. “Export of electronics hardware increased from US$3,279 million estimated in 2007-08 to US$6,790 million in 2008-09 in value terms,” Kamal Vachani, regional director of electronics and computer software export promotion council (ESC) for the Middle East told The Economic Times. Continue reading
Sept. 28 – HSBC returned to its historical roots when it announced that it would move the principal office of the group chief executive back to Hong Kong from the United Kingdom.
Company CEO Michael Geoghegan will relocate to Hong Kong in February, although the company itself will remain based in the United Kingdom.
The move is seen as part of the company’s strategy to refocus its energy in Asia particularly China for future growth. “We want to be at the gateway to China. Being in China itself is a logical goal and the place to work on it is Hong Kong,” Geoghegan was quoted as saying by The Wall Street Journal in a press conference. “You must expect Asian businesses to grow, and logically we are going to be here.” Continue reading
Sept. 25 – Indian, Chinese and Japanese companies dominated Forbes’ second annual list of the 50 best listed companies in the Asia-Pacific region with twelve, nine and nine spots respectively.
There were six Taiwanese companies on the list as well. The list looks at the region’s biggest publicly traded companies with revenues or market capitalization of at least US$5 billion and based rankings on long-term profitability, sales and earnings growth, plus projected earnings and stock-price gains. Continue reading
Sept. 24 – American company Ford Motor Co., has now entered India’s booming auto market by launching its first Indian-made small car, the Figo.
The new model is set to be exported to the rest of the Asia-Pacific region to push global sales, and Ford has tapped Chennai to be its global production hub for such cars in the region.
“We expect the small car segment will double in the next 10 years,” Chief Executive Alan Mulally said during the launch of the Figo in New Delhi. “When you look at vehicle size, about 60 percent of the vehicles worldwide would be smaller vehicles like the new vehicle here.” Continue reading