It’s too early to write off Hong Kong!

2024 kicked off with my annual mission to the Asian Financial Forum in January and, in addition to leading a 3 day program for AFF delegates, I spent a full two weeks in Hong Kong catching up with local investors, business partners and friends who provided some unique on-the-ground perspectives. I also spent an interesting […]

Navigating China’s investment potential: Key sectors revealed

China, the global economic powerhouse, faces a complex landscape of shifting consumer behaviours, regional differences and changing global trade dynamics. The aftermath of long and unpredictable Covid lockdowns has impacted consumer confidence, boosting saving and curtailing spending – with the exception of the luxury end of the market. While there are complex economic and market […]

Asian Diversity

It’s good to hear SMEs talking about their “Asian Strategy” again, but the use of these words alone suggest that they have a lot of detailed, analytical and strategic work to do before they will be anywhere near ready to launch their business into this fast growing and highly diverse region, representing more than half […]

People First

It is often forgotten that relationships between different countries exist on at least 3 levels: Level 1 – Government to GovernmentThis usually receives the most attention, at least from the media, but it should be remembered that Governments and leaders come and go, and attitudes, policies and personalities change faster than it might appear from […]

Fragile Democracy

Fragile Democracy

The defining moment for the birth of democracy in Asia was the end of World War II, a victory for democracy amongst the colonial powers of Western Europe. In the carve up of the world that followed, many restless colonies were granted independence as a reward for their support for the embattled colonial powers during […]

No Surprises

China is a ‘planned economy’. I think we all know this. Having established a viable economic base under Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai in the late 40s, China published their first Five Year Plan in 1953, adopting the Soviet model of State ownership and centralised economic planning which set the agenda for the […]

Diplomatic Tightrope

In the jostling for power, influence and authority in Asia – political, economic and military – the diplomatic tightrope being walked by Indonesia to maintain cordial and peaceful relations with both China and the USA is one to watch in the future. So far, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his team have managed to steer […]

The Pearl of the Orient

When thinking about the Philippines, I’m sure I’m not the only one with happy memories of a sunny, warm and welcoming country full of friendly people, tall palm trees, white sandy beaches and beautiful hotel resorts. I made the short trip from Hong Kong many times in the 80s and 90s, including learning to scuba […]

Informed Diplomacy

Last week, I was a panellist at the 13th Australia China Emerging Leaders Summit, described as “the signature initiative of the Australia China Youth Association (‘ACYA’), designed to unite and enrich a new generation of Australia-China literate Leaders”. It was held over four days in hybrid format, simultaneously across Australian cities and in Chengdu in Central […]

Strategic Ambiguity

These are awkward and challenging times for the people of South Korea as they look to navigate their long term relationships with both the US and China. The Korean Peninsula shares its borders with China, with only North Korea as a buffer, and the South Korean economy (which is only one-third of the size of […]