Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Rapid growth in Asia in the last few decades specially in China

It's very clear that Asia, with more than 50% of the world's population, has been growing very rapidly in the last 30 to 50 years. China, in particular, over the last 20 years. China, with 1.3 billion people and India, with 1.2 billion people are very important countries, economically. And if you look at the standards of living of people in the west, in other words western Europe, the U.S., and I include Japan, are no longer rising but going down for most people. Whereas in the east, I can say that since I arrived in Asia in 1973, just about everybody enjoys a better standard of living. Just look at, say, Chinese. Until the mid 80's they couldn't travel and then in the early 1990's, there were about 3 to 5 million Chinese travelers overseas. In 2000, there were 10 million Chinese travelers overseas and now there's a little bit less than 120 million Chinese traveling around the world.

So there has been a huge improvement and there has been an increase in their economic power. The Chinese, for some reason, believe in gold. My sense is that the Chinese would like to eventually have the world's dominant currency, in other words, replace the dollar as the reserve currency of the world. Whether they manage it this time, I'm not sure, because right now, China has also some of its own problems. But I'd like to tell you, if I have to choose between the problems of western Europe and the U.S. and China, I'd take the problems of China any time.