China - New Research Reveals Businesses in Europe and the U.S. Are Very Scared of The Impact But Ill Prepared to Act And Lag Behind Their Asian Counterparts on Ambitions for The China Market

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Over 700 business leaders, government officials, leading academics and futurists from across 60 countries were polled in the first worldwide survey to gather views and expectations of China's global impact over the period to 2020.

Over 700 business leaders, government officials, leading academics and futurists from across 60 countries were polled in the first worldwide survey to gather views and expectations of China's global impact over the period to 2020.

The survey conducted by business think tanks Global Futures and Foresight (GFF) and Fast Future provides rich insight into how business attitudes and ambitions for the China market are evolving across five continents. The report 'The Future of China's Economy, The Path to 2020 - Opportunities, Challenges and Uncertainties' to be published on the 22 March 2007 provides a 'wake up call' to the Western business world, warning that to thrive in the changing global economy action must be taken now to make China a key element in future business strategies.

Graham Leach, Chief Economist and Director of Policy for the UK Institute of Directors says; "For UK and Western businesses to stay competitive in the global marketplace, China has to be a key component of their strategy. This study highlights very clearly that business leaders in the west now understand the scale and long term potential of China's economy and they recognise the massive impact China will have in their markets globally. Despite this, many are still unwilling to respond, hesitant in their China strategies or simply unsure of what to do. It is now time to act on these concerns, start learning about the Chinese marketplace, drawing on the experience of those already doing business in China and actively embracing the opportunity that China presents."

Key Findings

There are few doubts in the business world that China will become a dominant global economic force.

  •     30% believe China's Economy will overtake that of the USA by 2025 and 73% believe it will happen by 2035.
  •     89% of respondents think international companies will consider it essential to be listed on a Chinese stock market.
  •     78% believe that the Chinese stock market will overtake the New York Stock Exchange in size.
  •     60% believe Chinese companies could become the largest grouping amongst the Fortune Global 500 by 2040.

There is a clear expectation that China's market power will transform the way the West does business.

  •     45% of respondents think Chinese culture and business practices will enter western corporate life.
  •     48% believe key industry and market decisions will be taken in China
  •     70% of respondents believe it will be considered normal for US and European workers to be employed by Chinese owned companies by 2030

Europe and the US are lagging behind their Asian counterparts in their plans for the Chinese market:

  •     65% of respondents claim to have had no direct Chinese business experience.
  •     65% of respondents receive no revenues or profits from China.
  •     55% of respondents expect China to increasingly become the launch market for new products and services.
  •      43% of Indian respondents were already generating revenues from the Chinese Market, compared to only 25% from North America and 34% from Europe.
  •     By 2020, 25% of Indian respondents expect to earn over 40% of profits from China, compared to just 8% of Europeans and only 12% of North Americans.

The message is clear, Western businesses can no longer afford to ignore the Chinese market.

Rohit Talwar, Joint CEO of GFF and the report's author says: "Many still seem to hope the 'China issue' will go away - but hope is not a strategy. Western businesses need to recognise the opportunities that this powerful market presents and face up to the challenges. Business leaders are clearly worried about the impact China will have in their own markets and on western business practices. However fear of the unknown, a lack of market knowledge, language barriers, limited cultural understanding and concerns about corruption and bureaucracy are leading to hesitancy and inertia. The way forward is to start developing true market insight, take the first steps and learn by doing. "

David Smith, Joint CEO of GFF said: "Even if you don't believe there are opportunities for you in the Chinese market, you have to be prepared to respond to China's growing global footprint. Chinese firms have increasingly ambitious overseas expansion plans and want to prove themselves in global markets. At the same time your competitors may be sourcing or manufacturing in China and taking advantage of the cost savings to compete with you in your domestic markets. Businesses of all sizes need to be clear on how they will respond."

All press enquiries please contact Nan-see Man, Liz Lean PR on 01202 701868

To order your full copy of the report visit

Notes to Editor

About the research

The report presents the results of an online survey on the Future of China's Economy - seeking the views of business, government, academia, futurists across the planet. The aim was to assess how much China had permeated their thinking and understand what their attitudes and expectations were of how China might develop both in the near term and out to 2020. The survey deliberately set out to canvass the views across the spectrum of experience of working with China as well as those living and working in China. A key group targeted for this survey were futurists and futures researchers whose professional role is to consider the long term forces and factors shaping our world. The survey asked a series of questions on three key topics:

  •     The future of China's economy
  •     China's impact on global business
  •     Respondents' own organisations' strategies for China

Global Futures and Foresight (GFF)

GFF's aim is to harness the views of global experts to provide foresight to organizations so that they can be more successful and less exposed to risk by better understanding the opportunities and threats the future has in store for us. GFF is a global network of business, academic and future thinkers from across the world committed to helping business and government better prepare for the future. It does this through collaborative projects and through undertaking its own research, gathering thought leaders' views of the future and forming composite ideas of what our future could look like.

Fast Future

Fast Future is a think tank and consultancy led by Global Futurist Rohit Talwar. Fast Future's aim is to help business and government understand the trends, forces and ideas shaping the future and to use those insights to connect to and invent the future in innovative ways. Fast Future specialises in analysing the future development of the high growth economies and helping global corporations develop their strategies for those markets.


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