Insights

InsightsView our insights on current issues and the latest thinking on business in Asia.

Malaysia’s Mess

Posted by on 8:38 pm in South East Asia | 0 comments

Malaysia’s Mess

Just what is going on in Malaysia right now is anyone’s guess. A huge amount of money that might be a political donation is apparently sitting in the Prime Minister’s accounts. If it is a donation, someone has been fairly generous – at USD$700 million it’s almost hefty enough to fund an entire US presidential campaign, let alone fund an incumbent prime minister’s activities in a parliamentary system. It should be assumed that it would purchase a fair amount of influence. However, official investigations appear to show that the money was...

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Indonesia – Retail Rising

Posted by on 6:10 pm in South East Asia | 0 comments

Indonesia – Retail Rising

While the western press has been emphasising the scale of the task facing anti-corruption reformers, reporting the challenges faced by a president whose origins are remote from traditional sources of power and commenting unfavourably on aspects of the country’s enforcement of its criminal courts’ sentences, Indonesia has been progressing on its journey as an emerging market with some success. The country has just risen three places to 12th position on AT Kearney’s annual Global Retail Development Index. With per capita GDP (at PPP) passing...

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Vale Lee Kuan Yew

Posted by on 9:06 am in Region, South East Asia | 0 comments

Vale Lee Kuan Yew

My thoughts are with my Singaporean friends as they deal with the enormous loss of their founder, Lee Kuan Yew. The outpouring of grief and display of respect and affection for this man who was the driving force behind not just the creation but also the shaping of Singapore is a reflection of Mr Lee’s achievements. I will not describe his myriad achievements here – many others are doing a much better job than I could. But it is worth mentioning Lee Kuan Yew’s greatest achievement – building a nation with a sound government and a strong legal...

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The Culture Map

Posted by on 5:19 am in Greater China, North Asia, Region, Resources, South East Asia | 0 comments

The Culture Map

Erin Meyer is an American professor at INSEAD who specialises in international and cross-cultural management. Her book “The Culture Map” provides business people with what is quite simply the best available guide to working or managing across cultures. A lot of Professor Meyer’s writing will sound familiar to students of Geert Hofstede, but her approach is broader, and very impressive to this Hofstede fan. Meyer has expanded on Hofstede’s work and a broad range of academic study to create a set of eight sliding scales against which cultures...

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Australia’s New FTAs – A Great Opportunity (If You’re Smart)

Posted by on 3:30 am in Greater China, North Asia | 0 comments

Australia’s New FTAs – A Great Opportunity (If You’re Smart)

This week, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced a January start for the implementation of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, one of three free trade agreements signed this year by the Australian government. The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement came into effect this month, and the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement should take effect from 2015. Each of these agreements is significant, and together they represent a great opportunity for Australian business across a range of industries. But taking...

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Jokowi – Audacity of Hope Meets “Work, Work, Work”

Posted by on 4:52 am in South East Asia | 0 comments

Jokowi – Audacity of Hope Meets “Work, Work, Work”

New “outsider” president, lots of rhetoric about hope and change. Will Joko Widodo end up as Indonesia’s Barak Obama? A smooth, democratic transition of executive power, a new broadly technocrat cabinet whose nominees were first vetted by 2 anti-corruption bodies and a new popular (and possibly populist) president are very positive developments for Indonesia, and another reason to look more closely at this dynamic market. While the rhetoric has been full-blown and it is easy to point at the difficulties this massive nation of 250 million...

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Review: Trading Places

Posted by on 5:42 am in Greater China, North Asia, Region, Resources, South East Asia | 0 comments

Review: Trading Places

Tim Harcourt, JW Nevile Fellow of Economics at the University of New South Wales Business School, combines great perception and intelligence with a friendly and approachable personality, so it should not be a surprise that “Trading Places: The Airport Economist’s Guide to International Business” manages to be a very enjoyable read, while imparting a mine of information. This is a book that every Australian business person engaged in international business – or considering it – should read. The book is designed as a guide for Australian SMEs,...

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Review: Winning in Emerging Markets

Posted by on 1:20 am in Greater China, Region, Resources, South East Asia | 0 comments

Review: Winning in Emerging Markets

“ Winning in Emerging Markets: A Road Map for Strategy and Execution “  by Tarun Khanna and Krishna G Palepu is a very useful book. It is not a particularly long book at 215 pages, and despite its brevity it is not a particularly easy read. But you should read this book. The authors, both Harvard professors specialising in international business have provided a framework for developed world  executives to get their heads around what is required for success in emerging markets around the world. The key concept is the idea of “institutional...

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Lessons from GSK’s Bitter Pill

Posted by on 9:07 am in Greater China, North Asia | 0 comments

Lessons from GSK’s Bitter Pill

The judgement is in and Chinese authorities have fined GSK the equivalent of USD$458 million for bribing doctors to prescribe and purchase their products. The fine is alleged to be a sum equal to the amount that GSK bribed. In addition, the company’s China head and four other executives have been sentenced to prison terms, although these have been suspended to reflect their “co-operation with authorities”. In previous blogs I have not addressed the possibility of head office involvement other than to point out that no...

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That Sinking Feeling

Posted by on 10:20 am in North Asia | 0 comments

That Sinking Feeling

Revised figures out today show that Japan’s economy shrank at an annualised rate of 7.1% in the last quarter. While contraction was expected after the Japanese government raised Japan’s VAT from 5% to 8%, and the decline followed annualised expansion of 6% in the first quarter as consumers bought ahead of the rise, the size of the contraction is very concerning. Initially, pundits had suggested a contraction of around 3.5% – smaller than that caused by the Tohoku earthquake of March 2011 – but the figure has come in at double that, and...

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