China's place in the new East

By Fergus Ryan

It makes sense to talk about the East rather than Asia, Simpfendorfer argues, because for example, India’s ties to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are far stronger than those to China, Hong Kong or Thailand.

The gravitational pull of China’s rapidly expanding consumer market is so great that even as the economy slows, private Chinese companies are looking overseas for brands and technologies to bring home.

Countries such as Bangladesh and Vietnam may have lower labour costs, but that doesn’t mean foreign companies should retreat from China.

The population of a single city in China can surpass the population of entire countries in the rest of the region.

Linking together the disparate countries and cultures of ‘the East’ can seem something of an anachronism nowadays, but in his new book The Rise of the New East Ben Simpfendorfer combines the birds-eye view of an economist with on-the-ground observations to join the dots for the reader.

As a result of these changes, sourcing companies have adopted a “China + 1” strategy, where companies source from China and at least one other country.

China has more affluent consumers spread across more cities than any country in the world.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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