By: Richard King
I founded King International Group to strengthen relationships with US and Pacific Rim countries and the United States. Having been a participant and observer in Asian business activity, it is just amazing to me the rapid evolution of the Pacific Rim countries.
For example, to illustrate the tremendous developments in China over the past thirty years, let me share with you what Beijing was like back in 1979, the year of my first trip: there were no decent hotels or restaurants, and everyone wore the ubiquitous Mao jacket. When Deng Xiaoping came into power, he was a tremendous economic reformer. He made the famous statement “to be rich is to be glorious”. The Chinese have taken his statement seriously, and from that point forward China has made economic progress forward. China is now the number one economic power in the Pacific.
It is my belief that as we move into 2014, China will continue to grow. They will concentrate much of their activity in gaining economic strength, and work to take a larger role politically in the region and the world. Despite concerns from many experts, Hong Kong has proved it can prosper as a special economic zone within China. Hong Kong will continue to be a major transportation and business center. It will also keep extending it’s reach and relationships with American firms.
Another major player in the Pacific Rim is Japan. The new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has been reforming the economy and has started an acceleration that has resulted in a 2.5% GDP. In the coming year we will see a dramatic increase in consumer spending and we will also see Japan reaching out to other parts of the world to increase their sphere of influence, most directly through mergers and acquisitions.
As we look to Korea, that economy will continue to expand with emphasis on foreign mergers and acquisitions, especially in the United States. Korea will produce a solid 5% GDP in the coming year.
The Southeast Asian (ASEAN) countries will be a major player in hi-tech, and will be attempting to become leaders in the Pacific Rim.
In summary, there is much we could say about the coming year in the Pacific Rim. After serving in the region for fifty years I believe we will be heading into more bilateral alliances between countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, with the emergence of Vietnam. It is my observation that Vietnam is aggressively trying to become a trade and investment center thereby competing with China. I also believe that the investment of American companies will be directed towards the emerging countries in the Pacific Rim. And finally it is interesting to note that American political and business strategies will be more closely aligned with the Pacific Rim countries in the future, instead of Europe, as in the past.