China's communist leadership aims to overcome the economy's dependence on cheap manufacturing, envisioning instead one that is based on advanced industrial goods for domestic and foreign markets. So far, however, it's still unclear how the country's leadership intends to transform China into one of the world's leading industrial powers by 2045. According to a recent Chinese study, this timeframe is simply quixotic. The latest report by the 'Center for Modernization Research' comes to the sobering conclusion that the Chinese economy trails Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain und France by a hundred years in terms of industrial development. The co-author of the study, Zhao Xijun, also claims that the country's economy lags behind the United States, Denmark and Italy by eighty years. And Sweden, Norway, Austria, Spain and Japan are said to be ahead by sixty years. These sobering findings originate not from an obscure think tank critical of the government but from an institute … [Read more...] about China seeks new business model
New business development
After being presented with the first post-2015 development agenda from the United Nation's High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the May 30, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon said the new plans were the "beginning of a historic journey." However, since then the reaction from the development community has been muted, with some complaining that they have not been incorporated enough into consultations on the new development goals, which is meant to add to the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after 2015. The new expert report outlines a total of 12 fresh objectives. By 2030 the panel wants to see an elimination of extreme poverty and preventable deaths in infants and children under the age of five. Violence against women should also be outlawed worldwide and access to safe drinking water and sanitation should be guaranteed globally - as well as a primary education. Environmental and economic goals would be new additions to the goals. Renewable energy should be doubled and … [Read more...] about NGOs unhappy with new UN development plan
Technology and innovation were the keywords of the 1990s, with much of the research in these fields being done at universities. In order to facilitate the transfer of the research results from the academic to the commercial spheres, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched the first modern-day business plan competition. The MIT Entrepreneurship Competition was a success. Following a trip to the United States, Professor Dr Sven Ripsas, the director of the EIB Institute for New Entrepreneurs in Berlin, brought this idea back with him. He started the first Berlin Business Plan Competition in 1995. Ripsas' goal was to create an environment that would help entrepreneurs found innovative businesses by drawing on the combined resources of regional universities, technical schools, governmental agencies, as well as capital providers. The idea caught on, and within a few years a number of business plan competitions sprung up throughout the country. One of them is the 'promotion … [Read more...] about German business plan competitions weather the storm
For years, Japan has been one of the most generous providers of Official Development Assistance to developing nations around the world, even in the two decades of relative poor domestic performance in the wake of the bursting of the economic bubble in the early 1990s. The emergence of China as the world's second-largest economy dented Japanese national pride but, more importantly, Beijing's aggressive search for new markets and new allies in areas that were previously well beyond its traditional reach has put Chinese firms in the driving seat when it comes to trade deals. And those deals, linked to lavish aid from Beijing, mean that Chinese companies are securing rights to increasingly scarce natural resources, including the rare earth minerals that are required for state-of-the-art technology such as the lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars. Equally, 85 percent of the platinum used in Japan, primarily in the auto industry, and 67 percent of the manganese, is imported from … [Read more...] about Japan aims to win new allies in Africa with aid
According to media reports, participants in the two-day meeting taking place in the Chinese capital include UN officials, diplomats, academics, and present and former members of the Palestinian and Israeli parliaments. The move comes after Beijing, which backs a two-state solution, hosted Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu (main picture, right) on state visits in the same week last month. China, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, has advocated the Palestinian bid for full state membership in the UN. Beijing's efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict may enhance its reputation in the Arab world and provide the Chinese with new business opportunities, said Josef Janning, a China expert with the Berlin-based think tank German Council on Foreign Relations, in a DW interview. Beijing has traditionally remained distant from Mideast affairs. Why is China holding peace talks now? The Chinese are sending out the … [Read more...] about China: The new Mideast power broker?
The Asia-Pacific region is by far the biggest growth area worldwide. From India to Japan, the region includes vastly different countries, from economic powerhouse China to the still impoverished war-torn Cambodia. Taken together, though, the region's combined gross domestic product (GDP) is set to rise for the first time to above €7 trillion ($9.1 trillion) -- surpassing even North America, and bringing the countries clearly into the focus of international business. The potential for growth for German business is enormous. At present, only 13 percent of German foreign trade is done with the Asia-Pacific region; only 7 percent of German foreign direct investment finds its way to the region. Chinese mega-market Of course China is the buzz-word, and the biggest exception, when it comes to German business ties in the region. As the largest European trading partner, Germany exported some €1.8 billion worth of goods to China in 2003 and counted €1.4 billion in … [Read more...] about German Business Looks to Future in Asia
The plan, while urging EU governments to accelerate reforms to their labor markets and to cut red tape, ditches the EU's long-stated ambition of forging the "world's most dynamic economy" by 2010. The report marks the mid-way review of the EU's five-year-old "Lisbon Strategy" of reform, launched amid much fanfare in the Portuguese capital with the goal of overtaking the United States in the competitiveness stakes. "The central message of the last five years is that Europe must refocus if it is to refuel its flagging economic engine," European Commission president Jose Barroso told a news conference. After the EU's achievements in forging a single market, a common currency and last year's addition of 10 more member states, he said the drive to slash unemployment through higher growth "is Europe's next great project." The new-look Lisbon Strategy will be presented to EU leaders at a March summit where, diplomats believe, it will win strong approval. The 2010 target is no longer … [Read more...] about EU Outlines New Business-Friendly Vision
At the end of this year, the United Nation's Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) will be replaced by a new global development agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This week politicians and finance experts from around the world are meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to discuss ways to finance the agenda. DW asked Eva Hanfstängl, an expert on development financing at "Bread for the World" Germany, and delegate for VENRO, the umbrella organization of 120 German development and humanitarian NGOs, about the prospects for raising the estimated $3.5 to 4.5 trillion needed annually to implement the goals. DW: At the start of the conference in Addis Ababa, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon demanded world leaders "put aside narrow self interest" to agree on financing the new development agenda. Are they trying to live up to this spirit? Yes and no. On the one hand you have very nice speeches. Every country sends high level ministers, heads of state, who deliver speeches about … [Read more...] about UN conference on financing development: ‘The least developed countries feel neglected’
Amid the European refugee crisis, almost forgotten are Germany's repeated calls on other EU countries to face reforms in order to place the eurozone and the 29-nation bloc on a more sustainable economic footing. After nearly a decade of sclerotic European growth, efforts are indeed required across the entire region to ensure that it gets back on a higher and more sustainable growth path. This will be critical to hold the very fabric of the European project together at a time when not only is the survival of the eurozone at stake, but the UK is deciding whether to throw in the towel entirely. Yet, Germany and Europe's future will not only be shaped by what Greece and other distressed countries do: Germany must also take a hard look at changes needed in its own economy in order to provide sustained and broad-based prosperity to current and future citizens. In fact, while German companies starting to offer jobs to refugees, the challenge of including potentially 800,000 new citizens, … [Read more...] about Opinion: Reforms can help Germany support its new citizens
The Indo-Japanese nuclear deal has been six years in the making, and was officially signed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Tokyo on Friday. The deal marks Japan's first nuclear cooperation agreement with a country that is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT). The NPT is an international treaty meant to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and arms technologies, while promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy. India refuses to sign it, saying it is discriminatory because it defines nuclear-weapons states as those that tested nuclear devices before 1967. The nuclear deal between Asia's second and third largest economies has been described by the two countries as "a new level of mutual confidence and strategic partnership for the cause of a peaceful and secure world." Mutual benefits Supporters of the impending deal say it is a win-win situation for both Tokyo and New Delhi. India will be able … [Read more...] about India and Japan sign nuclear deal – A risky business?