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Earlier this fall, I attended the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, where companies from around the world came to showcase new products that utilize the latest in cutting edge manufacturing technologies, such as machine tools, robotics and various automation components. The biannual tradeshow is the largest of its kind in the world, a virtual theme park for manufacturing geeks.
As average incomes in China have risen, investment themes tied to rising tourism have also grown. In particular, international travel is increasingly appearing on the wish lists of Chinese consumers. Last year, China’s total outbound tourists reached about 97 million, and is expected to continue its strong growth.
Asia’s impressive transformation over the past few decades has, unfortunately, not been without the sort of industrialization that has exploited a variety of resources.
It’s not every day that one achieves a feat requiring the precision of shooting a hole-in-one over a distance of 5,000 miles.
Twenty years ago, Paul Matthews decided to launch two Asia ex-Japan mutual funds in the U.S. and create what is today the Matthews Asia Funds.
More than a year and a half has passed since Japan unveiled “Abenomics,” its aggressive reflationary policy to reinvigorate its stalled domestic economy. While the first two “arrows” of Abenomics—ultra–easy monetary and expansionary fiscal policies—have made progress in ending deflation and “importing” inflation into the economy, investors have shifted their attention to the so-called third arrow—Japan’s growth strategy.
This month, the western port city of Incheon in South Korea is hosting the 17th Asian Games, the world’s second largest multisport event, held every 4 years. Given the prevailing global economic conditions, the prestige of hosting such a large sporting event may at times be overshadowed by the required infrastructure expenditure.
For many of us in the West, waking up to the aroma of a pot of fresh-brewed coffee is one of life’s little pleasures. In fact, over the course of a year, the average American consumes the equivalent of roughly 9 lbs. (~4.5 kg) of coffee beans. In Finland, that average is nearly three times higher!
One competitor who has been notably missing from the U.S. Open tennis tournament, now approaching its final weekend, is China’s Li Na—currently the world’s no. 3 ranked women’s singles player. Li, who withdrew from the Open due to a knee injury, also happens to be one of the world’s most marketable athletes.
I recently returned from two eye-opening weeks in southern Thailand to visit an American friend who had been living there. The beauty of the islands and the friendliness and hospitality of the Thai people made for a wonderful first experience in Asia.