Well, I just came back from another trip to China. Each time I go, I learn more and more about this interesting country on the come up.
We can not ignore their growth, underestimate their technological aptitude or scoff at their manufacturing capabilities any longer. It's been slightly under a year sense I last visited our friends in the far East, and there has been an incredible amount of building and development since. China is growing at a phenomenal rate.
They are communist and have restricted their population to 1 kid per family. This will go on until 2010. There are steep fines of 3 to 6 year one's annual salary for having a second child. This law has elliminated approx. 300 million people in it's first 20 years of implementation. People sleep on the size of China, but 20% of the entire world's population live in China, with India a close second. If you can pay, you can have more kids.
ON THE COME UP
In a 1994 survey, only 40 percent of Chinese households had a color television set, just one in four owned a refrigerator, one in 10 had a landline telephone and only three percent owned a mobile phone. The latest poll indicated that 82 percent of China's roughly 400 million households owned color television sets, 63 percent had landline phones and nearly half owned at least one mobile phone. Even more remarkable is that at least half of all Chinese households now own a video compact disc (VCD) player -- double the percentage that owned a refrigerator in 1994.
In the business world, it is the manufacturing sectors in developed economies that are decidedly nervous; and for good reason. Local and (particularly) foreign owned manufacturers are installing world best practice equipment and technologies in China to produce goods at both the mass-market and up-market levels for domestic consumption and exports. The economies of scale in China are unlike anything the world has ever seen.
When times were good in Detroit, small tool and die shops should have been re-investing in technology, improved processes and ways to cut costs. Instead they are being driven out of business by work being resourced to China, Mexico, and India. The same has gone for tele-marketing, customer assistance, and help desks. In order to keep pace with these companies the US needs to develop new job positions that involve dealing with overseas goods, and become creative and find away to harness the cheap labor, while not overlooking our blue collar labor unions that are our the economic backbone of this country.
Pictures are coming tommorrow!