Home > Economics > Yeah, Asia is pushing closer to the West

Yeah, Asia is pushing closer to the West

Western officials should have realised this Summit would be different when they arrived in Seoul to find their phones and blackberrys didn’t work. The problem was that Korea’s nationwide 4G network was too advanced. On early negotiating missions, key UK officials found themselves communicating with London via gmail, on rented phones.

That was never a problem in Pittsburgh, or Toronto. But as George Osborne liked to point out, this was the first G20 Summit not hosted by a G8 country – and, he might have added, the first where G8 countries didn’t call the tune.

Read more here.

Why are they doing so well? The major reason is the amount of investment they do. As an example, see Tom Friedman’s NYT oped:

China is doing moon shots. Yes, that’s plural. When I say “moon shots” I mean big, multibillion-dollar, 25-year-horizon, game-changing investments. China has at least four going now: one is building a network of ultramodern airports; another is building a web of high-speed trains connecting major cities; a third is in bioscience, where the Beijing Genomics Institute this year ordered 128 DNA sequencers — from America — giving China the largest number in the world in one institute to launch its own stem cell/genetic engineering industry; and, finally, Beijing just announced that it was providing $15 billion in seed money for the country’s leading auto and battery companies to create an electric car industry, starting in 20 pilot cities. In essence, China Inc. just named its dream team of 16-state-owned enterprises to move China off oil and into the next industrial growth engine: electric cars.

You never hear about these types of investments in the western world, which suggests we need to increase the aid our governments give to investing companies AND make it worth their while to switch to new products and methods of production.

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