The news that China’s GDP growth has slowed over the first quarter of 2013 is leaving some observers wondering whether it marks the start of a trend. Although public opinion is divided on whether China’s economy is on the edge of a downward spiral, Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran, correspondent for the Economist and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, thinks that China has the opportunity to develop innovative new solutions to its problems that will allow its economy to endure and even thrive. Over the past year, Vaitheeswaran has repeatedly called for innovation in China and elsewhere. In the case of China, he notes that the country can no longer rely on its historical role as the “workshop to the world.”
Vaitheeswaran is the author of Need, Speed, and Greed: How the New Rules of Innovation Can Transform Businesses, Propel Nations to Greatness, and Tame the World’s Most Wicked Problems, a book that Kirkus Reviews described as “the perfect primer for the postindustrial age.”
In March 2012, Vaitheeswaran wrote a guest blog for CNBC examining whether China can innovate, stating that “China’s long and profitable run as the workshop to the world will come to an end.” Vaitheeswaran noted that even though the country is losing its ability to provide cheap labor for businesses in developed nations, China “has long prized invention” and has thrown government support behind efforts “to create cutting-edge industries in everything from electric cars and clean energy to the next generation of the internet.” According to Vaitheeswaran, the key to success in these efforts lies in finding ways around the obstacles holding back the entrepreneurial and creative drive of China’s population.
In November, Vaitheeswaran followed up on his CNBC remarks with an article in the Economist in which he suggested that 2013 could be “a turning point” for Chinese companies looking to establish a global brand presence. Vaitheeswaran argued that the slowing growth in China’s markets will encourage companies to enter overseas markets as a way of maintaining their profits. Although he cited hurdles such as a lack of global brand awareness and the need to win over skeptical consumers, Vaitheeswaran sees China as capable of producing world-class brands.
Vaitheeswaran will present the opening session of the 66th CFA Institute Annual Conference in Singapore. You can register to attend the conference to hear Vaitheeswaran’s thoughts on ways that countries and companies can adapt to thrive in the innovation economy, or learn more about the opportunities available to conference delegates in Singapore. Be sure to follow this blog for more conference news and updates.
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