Financial Sense NewsHour: Asking the Expert -- George Zhibin Gu, PhD,
Author of a new book:
"China's Global Reach ~ Markets, Multinationals, Globalization"
George Gu gives us a fascinating insight into China's past and future. Most authors on this subject have little direct experience, or if they do, they don’t have the intellectual and global knowledge to make true sense of it. China’s Global Reach: Markets, Multinationals, Globalization gives you an insider’s look at key issues from a veteran commentator and business professional on the ground in China. Our world stands at a critical point; this book comprehensively details global economic, business, and political trends with particular focus on how to shape a better future for all nations.
JIM PUPLAVA: My guest this week is George Gu. George obtained his education at Nanjing University in China and Vanderbilt University and the University of Michigan in the United States, he holds two MS degrees and a PhD from the University of Michigan. Since 1990 he’s been an investment banker and a business consultant. He’s also worked for the last 15 years in the investment world with a focus on China. His work focuses on helping international businesses to invest in China and Chinese companies expand overseas. He’s got experience working with Prudential Securities, Lazard and State Street Bank. He’s also written several books, one Made In China: Players and Challenges in the 21st Century, and his current book is called China’s Global Reach: Markets, Multinationals and Globalization.
George, you grew up in China during a very difficult time, especially during the Cultural Revolution. How has this impacted your thinking today in terms of how you view China?
GEORGE ZHIBIN GU, PHD: Well, while I was growing up in China, China experienced a cultural revolution, as well as people’s communes in the countryside. It was chaotic, it was characterized by abusive government power which was expanding into everybody’s lives. What is more, it was an entirely closed society. In other words, every citizen had to work for the government to make a living. So the government exactly demanded the servitude of citizens, but today everything has changed fundamentally. So, in my mind two things are most crucial for modern society and progress, that is, having an open society is a must; secondly, private initiatives – people must rely upon their own efforts for progress and prosperity. That is exactly what has been happening for the last 25 years. This makes all the difference. The third one is that international participation in any country’s development is a necessity, otherwise development slows down tremendously. So, the situation in China and India shows [this is] the case. [3:05]
JIM: You know that was one of the points that you made in your book, that the grand lesson of China is that no nation can truly develop without making itself open to the rest of the world.
GEORGE: That is very true. 500 years ago, Europe became an open society expanding globally. Especially the US, it depended on talents, capital, and technology from the rest of the world. That’s why the US has become a dominating power globally for the last 100 years. Today, China is doing the same thing, relying upon all the resources from around the globe. [3:46]