Wednesday, May 6, 2009

China Trip - Putting Big Numbers in Perspective

(cross-posted from WFU MBA China Blog)

In March, both the US and China unveiled massive economic stimulus packages in an attempt to kick-start the downturn that both countries were facing as part of the econalypse. For the US, the package was ~$900B and for China it was ~$800B. Both huge numbers, but it's always important to put huge numbers in perspective. For the US, that 3-4% of GDP, whereas it's 15% of Chinese GDP. While we tend to think of China as a massive country (land, population) and a growing economic super-power, it's GDP is still only 1/3 that of the US. Many business leaders and media outlets have stated that the mid-to-late 21st century will be the timeframe that China overtakes the US as the dominant world economic power. That may or may not happen, but trends are definitely moving in that direction. How the government stimulus of both countries plays out will take a few years to understand and analyze, and the impact will be felt for decades.

One of the areas that I'm most interested in seeing and understanding on this trip is the size and scale of China. From last Summer's Olympics in Beijing, especially the opening ceremonies, we got a first hand look at what the Chinese people could accomplish with a singular focus. How that translates into business and what new opportunities this creates will be an area I'm watching very closely during this trip.

When you're "1 in a million" in the US, you're pretty unique and special. When you're "1 in a million" in China, there are at least 1300 others just like you.

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