Recent stories

China’s Next Growth Challenge

On September 8th, 2013, the Financial Times invited a rather special guest to write an op-ed. Li Keqiang, the Premier of China, described his vision for the nation’s future economic development. Li wrote that the country needs to carry out an important round of reforms, a follow-up to those started by Deng Xiaoping more than thirty years ago. Li’s set of reforms, often called “Likonomics” by Western observers, comprises various policies designed to sustain economic growth, notably through an opening-up of the private sector.

China’s Water Crisis – Fancy a ‘Green’ Swim in Qingdao?

QINGDAO, China – While it is common knowledge that China’s air is bad – The New York Times, reported in January that “On scale of 0 to 500, Beijing’s Air quality tops ‘Crazy Bad’ at 755” – the deteriorating quality of water has gotten less attention. Yet there is plenty of evidence that China’s waters are just as endangered as its air. Just ask Mr Liu, one of the many millions of Chinese who have watched the deteriorating water quality along the Chinese coast. He has lived his whole life in Qingdao, a popular Chinese beach resort. Now he’s 66 and retired, and enjoys a cigarette as he looks out over the water and the crowded beach.

Why Social Entrepreneurship Aid is Putting Asia on the Shelf

Of the 197 companies that attended the 2013 meeting of Partnering for Global Impact in Lugano, Switzerland, only 17 were from Asia. Of that 17, four were from China or Southeast Asia. During my stay at the conference, this statistic would profoundly mirror back to me, when Tao Zhang, Managing Director for the China Global Impact Fund, said, “China [is] being put on the shelf.” Why hasn’t impact investing taken off in China & Southeast Asia? An analysis of key cultural, demographic and perceptual factors could explain why North American and European firms are hesitant to enter the industry.

Is Global Cooperation and Leadership Impossible? – Ian Bremmer on Honesty, Responsibility and Foresight

Forget the G-8, the G-20, the United Nations and all other initiatives of global cooperation – in the emerging global order every nation fights for itself. At the World Economic Forum in Dubai few were as outspoken in the exclusion of the possibility of truly global cooperation as Dr. Ian Bremmer, who argues that it is to the benefit of nobody to close one’s eyes to the volatility, insecurity and humanitarian casualties that arise as ever fewer nations have the capacity and none have the willingness to exercise global leadership. (more…)

A Multilateral Approach to Regional Resource Scarcity

Protectionism, keeping the resources for yourself and maybe your neighbour – is that today still a considered strategy? At the World Resources Forum, the answer was clear. The energy supply chain today is more international than ever before. Countries are more interdependent  than ever before. But countries are still looking at energy in terms of national self-reliance.