The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Greater China Business Club recently interviewed author Jason Inch about his recent book, China’s Economic Supertrends, with a focus on China’s economy, doing business in China and how China is developing sustainably.
GCBC’s Gary Yau Chan talked with Jason about a number of topics from the book, including China’s economic, demographic and political trends. Here’s a short sample:
Gary: How has your outlook for China changed now that you have written your new book, China’s Economic Supertrends?
Jason: My perspective on China’s economic outlook is little changed, actually: I am still very bullish on China’s economy. One reason I decided to revise and add new material to the original book was that James and I wrote the original in an easy-to-read overview style, and I had heard from some readers that they would like to know more in-depth ideas.
Another reason my outlook remains unchanged is that the original predictions we had in 2008 have stood the test of time. While we were not correct about everything in the original book, many of our predictions came true even faster than we had thought. For example, China’s clean tech industries are already leading the world, exceeding our already optimistic expectations and rising on the strength of China’s sustainability supertrend. Also, we were correct in pinpointing the growing importance of China’s overseas direct investment, but the pace — due to the effects of the global financial crisis — has also been faster than we envisioned. In the service industry, we correctly predicted the growing importance of branding in China and strongly recommended brand consultants and agencies enter China or redouble their efforts here. As it turned out, many brand consultants have entered the market, but they only did so after 2009 or 2010, when their home markets were suffering due to the effects of the global financial crisis.
So, this new book, China’s Economic Supertrends, is the first of a three-volume set that more deeply analyzes the trends of China’s economy, demographics, and political environment for businesspeople, investors and individuals. I like to think that my view and understanding of China is more nuanced given the subsequent four years I spent here after writing the first book. While I remain positive that China will overcome some of its latent economic problems and continue its growth at a more moderate pace, there will be setbacks, to be sure. I do not have pessimistic ideas about the potential collapse of China, as some commentators and analysts do, so my appraisal in the new books is more comprehensive. That is one of the reasons why I split the original into three revised and updated volumes, with the final volume being almost all new material.
Much of the focus is on China’s sustainable development and “green” clean tech business opportunities in China, but they also discuss the economic relationship between the United States and China, innovation in China, and how foreign companies can successfully do business in China.