Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Why I Admired Jim Rogers (Part 1) – Read his Book “A Gift to My Children”

Finished reading a book this month by Jim Rogers, titled “A Gift to My Children - A Father’s Lessons for Life and Investing.”  The book was actually recommended to me by another fellow blogger. Passive Income Builder

I admire Jim Rogers' love for his daughters; his passion in life (and investments); his travels around the world to learn what people and countries were doing and to see how well they are doing it. 

Who is Jim Rogers


Jim Rogers (borned 1942) co-founded the Quantum Fund in 1973 with George Soros before he turned 30. The fund gained 4200% over ten years. Rogers spent his time traveling around the world several times. The first was in 1980 after he retired at 37. The second trip was from 1990-92 where he travelled through China, and the rest of the world on motorcycle over 160k km across six continents. This feat was picked up in Guinness Book of World Records. 

Source: www.jimrogers.com – Picture taken in China in 1999.

Jim’s third trip was the longest and with his wife Paige Parker. The trip spanned 3 years and started in 1999 at Iceland before ending at New York in Jan 2002. It was yet again another Guinness World Record journey through 116 countries, covering 245k km, in their custom-made Mercedes. Jim Roger is the author of A Bull in China, Hot commodities, Adventure Capitalists, and Investment Biker. He recently moved to Singapore with his wife and daughters who were born in 2003 and 2008.  

Book - A Gift to My Children “A Father’s Lessons for Life and Investing

The book is rather short, comprising of 13 chapters and an Epilogue within less than 100 pages. There are so many excellent lessons in the book. I summarized by chapters various points that left a deep impression to me as follows.


1) Swim your own races: do not let others do your thinking for you
Be who you are, be original and be bold. Above all be ethical.

2) Focus on what you like
Age is irrelevant when you are passionate about a goal.

3) Good habits for life and investing
Be a self-starter and save.

Paying attention to details is what separates success from failure! – Example of General Motor vs Toyota in the 1960s. GM was already very successful but they were overconfident and pay very little attention to the Japanese car makers.

"I learned in life that being greedy nearly always causes problems. An old Wall Street adage says: bulls makes money; bears make money. Pigs go broke."

4) Common sense? Not so common
Most perceived wisdom is a misconception.

"For e.g. in the 70s, oil price is $3 a barrel and most believed price will remain low because of new technologies and major oil discoveries. Careful research shows that oil supply impossible to meet world demand and oil price is destined to rise."

We should read newspaper everyday but approach with a sense of skepticism. Always do your own research! 

5) Your Education, Part 1: Let the world be a part of your perspective.
Do not rely on books; go and see the world! Jim Rogers also urge her daughters to leave country for few years then can always return with a new understanding. 

“It is important that you do not simply visit as a tourist. See monuments and eat at predictable restaurants. But see for yourself how different people live. Experience life as they do; see the world from ground up! Communicate with people of different culture and understand that.”

The significance of BRICs – Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Jim Rogers is bullish on China and Brazil and bearish about Russia and skeptical about India.

Brazil – improve significantly over next 15 years. The country will increase commodities production such as sugar and iron ore. Sugar is a raw material for ethanol which is considered to the alternative for crude oil.  

Russia – abundant in natural resources but poor fundamentals. A country plagued by bombings and assassinations. Putins control Moscow and St Petersburg only, Mafia exerts stranglehold elsewhere. USSR split into 15 countries with 124 ethnic, linguistic and religious groups in the land.

India - stifled bureaucracy, lack of infrastructure compare to China. National highway of India is two-lane road built decades ago and now full of potholes, not to mention traffic, wagons, animals, pedestrians, drying vegetables, carts, breakdowns and everything else under the sun.

China - destined to be the world’s leading economies by year 2050. 

Be a World Citizen. Be open to people who are different, whether at home or abroad.

"If everyone saw himself as a citizen of the world rather than of his town, city, or country, the world would be a more peaceful, better place where success in all forms is abundant and available to all. That is not to say that we can't be patriotic and love our country. But we must always be open to those who are different, because people from different backgrounds have much to teach us, vice versa.

6) Your Education, Part 2. Learn philosophy; learn to think
Philosophy will teach you how to think for yourself.

“To engage in philosophical thinking and to read books on philosophy are different. Reading merely helps develop ability to think. But we need to exercise our mind and react on true situations where conventional wisdom and custom turned out to be wrong.”

Price Commodities and stock are inversely related. For instance Kellogg is the largest cereal company in world. Therefore if commodities price increase, cost of the company will increase. In the short term, the company cannot immediately pass the high cost to consumer and their profits will drop!

Do not ignore the bear market and find opportunity!



Sunday, 28 September 2014

Aging Population - What it Means to Us!

It’s close to an hour past midnight on a Saturday morning (yesterday). Hunger strikes and I could not sleep. I prepare cup noodles and switch on the TV. Browsing through the channels, Channel NewsAsia (CNA) programme “Perspective” caught my eye.  I think it was a repeat telecast.

CNA “Perspective” - Global Aging Challenges

This episode of “Perspective” addressed the issues of Global Aging Challenges. I am captivated by the subject discussed, as it is going to affect not only me, but also Singapore future generation! This programme showcase a forum with four panellists, a moderator and audiences held in Singapore Management University (SMU). The panellists are:
  • Professor Bryce Hool, Dean, School of Economics, SMU
  • Ms Mary Ann Tsao, Chairman of the Tsao Foundation
  • Ms Soh Swee Ping, CEO, Council for Third Age
  • Mr T K Udairam, Group CEO, Eastern Health Alliance

For more information, refer to CNA website link here.

“By 2050, two billion people will be aged 60 and above. A vastly ageing population coupled with stagnating birth rates presents looming challenges for most developed nations. Their biggest gripe – how to replace their ageing segment with able-bodied citizens, prompting governments to revise their policies and approach to adapt to changing demographics. How will the world deal with the challenges of this “grey tsunami” that will soon engulf us?”

Singapore Low Fertility Rate

Singapore's total fertility rate (TFT) slipped again to 1.19 last year, compared with 1.29 in 2012. This is way below the replacement rate of 2.1. This means that the population entering workforce is less than that exiting. In the long term, it will have a negative impact to the economy.

The total fertility rate for the Singaporean Chinese, which account for over 70% of the local population, was even lower at 1.06. Government had been trying to resolve the low-fertility problem through immigration and incentivise Singaporeans via various comprehensive baby bonus measures, and hoping to raise the total fertility rate to near 1.4 or 1.5. Does not seem to work effectively so far! 


According to a Moody Investor Service Report recently, “Singapore will be a ‘super-aged’ society in just 15 years, and halt economic growth” Read news here.

Dean of SMU School of Economics, Bryce Hool also mentioned that based on the current statistics for Singapore, in less than 40 years, there will be a transition from 7 workers per retiree to just 2. 

By 2040, someone 65 years ago can expect to live to 90. I belong to this group. I will be 62 by 2040. Sounds scary, isn’t it? Is it all that bad?

How to Deal with Aging Population 

I taken some notes during the one-hour show, but hope the accuracy of the contents will not be compromised, since its 1 am in the morning and I am eating, listening and writing all at once. Together with more informations unearthed from CNA website, I documented the some interesting points below.  

A young audience questioned “The old people are less creative and less innovative, how to deal with this problem?”

Ms Soh Swee Ping said:

“Aging is not necessary so bad as it may seem. While in economic terms, it will have a negative impact, but the senior can contribute socially such as grandparenting, volunteer work, and the society with old people by and large is a better place to live in.”

The young can run faster, it is true. But the old know all the short-cuts!

How to measure productivity? The young and old contribute differently in different system. We should help the older generation to create a second career life after they retire.”

She also mentioned the need to use more positive language such as “Harnessing their potential, maximizing their experience, instead of saying old people is greying Tsunami”

Mr Udairam said:

“It is just like a badminton game. When you are 20-30 years old, you run around the court a lot being active and aggressive and win the game. When you get older, you run lesser but manage the court more intelligently and can still win the game.  

Turning 60 marks a new phase in your life. Living means enjoying life and working is part of life you need to enjoy. We need to have new jobs for the old.

Innovation itself is not related to age, but instead on the personality and environment.”

Ms Mary Ann Tsao said:

“The old tends to have a broader perspective in life and sharper in making decisions, while the young is generally more dynamic, energetic and can work much longer hours. It is a question of making jobs suitable for the aging, utilising their experience. A company needs a combination of old and young talents.

All people matters (including the old). Today we look at everyone value in the society only on productivity and economic sense. But it is not correct. Older people play different roles in terms in how they hold family together, how they hold social values together beyond ability to work in a traditional sense.

Also when older people are re-employed they can create a whole new business opportunities, because older people are also consumers then.”

Another audience said “we should keep senior healthy and engage them actively.”

Professor Bryce Hool said:

“Population and mindset today may be different compare to the future.

The 60 of today may be the 40 of future, and 80 being the new 60 years old.

Business such as healthcare and retirement homes may be geared towards the old and it is still good for the economy and promotes investment.
  

Historic Boxing Match in 1974: 32 year old Muhammad Ali KO the younger and stronger 25 year old George Foreman who is the then overwhelming favourite to win. The elder Ali adopted the rope-a-dope tactic where he frequently lean on the rope and cover up. As a result George Foreman spent all his energy throwing punches that did not hit Ali, before Ali delivered the killer punch.

Government to Promote Active Aging

An audience said “I am 51 and just completed a diploma in design, but I could not get a job for months. The hirer complained that I am too qualified! While I am happy in my retirement, I want to continue working.”  

Another questioned “Will scholarship be provided for a 55 year old, even he had the ability today?”

Further questioned, “Why are we so focus on fertility and not focus on active aging."

The issues of lack of attention to elder generation by the government are addressed. Some audiences said that our government is still favouring the young and look at people in terms of economic use only. Ms Soh then mentioned that actually our government had already been doing a relatively good job. They are putting together more concerted efforts in promoting active aging and healthy living.

Professor Bryce mentioned,

“While we promote active aging, we should also continue to encourage fertility since this is the fundamental problem. In the long term, people will react to aging and create more economic and social value out of them.

We should educate people of active aging and healthy living when they are young and not when they are already 60 then they realized”



Rolf's Summary
  • Reduce outflow of older cohort by enhancing and exploit longevity
  • Promote healthy living to reduce healthcare cost and enhance productivity
  • Retirement age needs to change with Time
  • Need for new jobs for aging population
  • Healthy Living Message – The young need it too
  • To continue promotion of fertility campaign together with good healthcare policy
  • Change your lifestyle to live a long, healthy and productive life
  • Successful ageing means personal responsibility
  • Look at opportunities that Longevity can bring
  • Use positive language for the elderly
  • All people matters – old people are not second class citizens

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Saturday, 27 September 2014

My First Trip to London

Last week, I spend a day transiting in London before flying to Brazil. In this post, I will include some pictures and narrate my experience during the short stay there. 

Brief Facts of London

I took this beautiful picture of London

London is the capital of England and United Kingdom (UK). It is the most populous city in UK with official population of 8.4 million as of 2013. It’s metropolitan area has over 13 million inhabitants. London is the world’s leading financial centres and has the fifth largest city economy in the world. The city generates approximately 22 per cent of the UK's GDP. London is a global city with a diverse range of peoples and cultures. It has strengths in arts,  commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport all contributing to its prominence. It also has many world heritage sites. 

Heathrow Airport 

This is my first trip to UK. I arrived at London Flagship Airport - Heathrow, one of the busiest airports in the world with five terminals. The airport is very organized just like Changi Airport in Singapore. Dressed in jeans, sweater and carrying my backpack, I was directed to the “Student Queue” at the custom. Yes, they have a special queue for student, and a long one with majority Asians. I am not a student anymore (how I wish) and eventually did not use the special lane. Custom clearance is relatively fast with friendly custom officer. 

London Underground Transport

Next, navigation to find the correct train that will bring me to town. With the aid of signboards and my Iphone App “Citymapper”, it is not difficult at all. I am staying at Ibis Hotel, few hundred metres from Southwark station, which is just one station away from London busiest central station – Waterloo.

Trains in London are very crowded during peak hours. At one instance, the carriage is so full that I gave up boarding. However, passengers are orderly mannered, definitely no scenes of pushing and shoving. Trains are divided into carriages and smaller than MRT in Singapore, but it is still comfortable. Lots of walking within the station - you ought to have strong legs and arms while carrying heavy luggages climbing up and down stairs. 

Not Cheap

I wanted to take Taxi from airport to hotel initially, but it does not make economical sense. For hailing a London Black Cab, it will cost approximately GBP80-90 (S$165-185) to travel ~30km. The time is approximately the same as Train - around 70 minutes. Below is a picture of London Black Cab. 


Road transport is most economical by train or bus. Yes you will need “Oyster Card”. This is similar to Ezlink Card - see below. 


Not exactly cheap! My average single trip fare is GBP2.20 (SGD4.50) traveling around the city area. In fact I think this is the minimum fare even with one station journey. Single trip fare from town to airport (either way) is GBP5.00 using the Oyster card.

London is an expensive city. I cannot see any hawker centres or food courts. Cafes are everywhere though. Below is a receipt of a meal from Starbucks. 


Scotland Decides!

Incidentally it is a very important week for the people of UK, when Scotland decides “Yes or No” to independence. I watched on TV British Prime Minister David Cameron's emotional plea for Scotland to stay. He warned "Independence would not be a trial separation, it would be a painful divorce". Later in the week, results of the voting were revealed. Ultimately, voters decided for a harmonious ending.

Places Visited

The weather is perfect, sunshine and temperature around +/-20 deg. Feels great to walk with my cooled shades. But at the end of the day, my legs wobbled. Below are some places I visited with pictures taken. 


Set off from Hotel


 Walk along River Thames


London Eye - View from City Cruise


London Bridge

 

Tower of London


Oxford Circus


Piccadilly Circus


Green Park


Buckingham Palace


West Minster Abbey


Big Ben 

Rolf’s Thoughts

My short one one day experience in London was very enjoyable. It is a beautiful city with many wonderful world heritage sites. I like the diversified cosmopolitan environment. People are friendly and more importantly everyone speaks English. Roads and buildings are clean, neat and tidy, trains are convenient way of transport. However you need a deep pocket in this vibrant and expensive city. I will definitely plan a longer trip there with my love ones the next time. 


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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

CapitaRetail China Trust to Continue Thriving in a Pessimistic China Economic Outlook?

For my readers, I apologised for the quiet month of blogging. It is a busy month of flying across the continents! Finally, I am home today after more than ten days abroad in UK and Brazil. The traveling were not made any easier, with more than twenty-five hours of air travel single-way Brazil-Singapore not to mention additional hours spent on the roads and hang around at airport. Instead of snoozing during the travel and wait, I actually drafted few blog articles. Below is one.

Brief

Earlier, I had blogged about China titanic advancement in the last decade and why I am bullish on its long term economic outlook. With this positive appraisal in mind, it is not surprising that I added a stock counter with China exposure lately. The company is CapitaRetail China Trust (SGX: AU8U) “CRCT” listed in SGX, owned 21.3% by CapitaMalls Asia as of end last year. CapitaMalls Asia was taken private few months ago by CapitaLand (SGX: C31), South East Asia largest listed Real Estate Company.

CRCT is the first and only PRC shopping mall REIT in Singapore. It has a portfolio of 10 income-producing shopping malls in six of China’s cities including 5 malls in Beijing (78% of portfolio) and one each in Shanghai, Henan, Inner Mongolia, Anhui and Hubei province. Total GRA is approx. 605k sqm with over 70 million of shopper traffic. All the malls are located in populous areas that are accessible to major transportation routes or access points. Below are more informations on the various malls within CRCT including their portfolio valuation.



Strong Fundamentals

In the last 12 months, CRCT stock price range from a minimum of S$1.40 during end Jan 2014 to a maximum of S$1.70 during end Aug about two months ago. It settles at S$1.60 currently with a market cap of S$1.3b. CRCT has strong support from its Temasek backed CapitaLand with healthy fundamentals. Latest Price to Book ratio is 1.05 with dividend yield of 6.2% based on annualised 1H2014 DPU of 4.99Sc. Based on 1H14 results, gearing is 29.8% with an average debt of cost of 3.6% mostly fixed and well distributed for the next few years. Interest coverage is healthy at 5.5x and occupancy of its malls are strong at 98% capacity.

Diversified Tenant Base

CRCT malls have a mix of Master and Multi-tenanted leases profile. Master lease is of typical 20 years to ensure stable cash flow. Multi-tenanted leases provide growth and include Anchor Tenant lease which is 15-20 years; Mini-anchor tenants 5-7 years and Specialty tenants up to 3 years. As of 1H14, there are 3 Master-Leased malls which contribute 22% of NPI and 7 Multi-tenanted malls accounting for 78% of NPI. 

CRCT tenants include big names like Wal-Mart, Carrefour and the Beijing Hualian Group (BHG) under master leases or long-term leases. The anchor tenants are UNIQLO, ZARA, Vero Moda, Sephora, Watsons, KFC, Pizza Hut and BreadTalk.

The two Tenants in the month of Dec 2013 in terms of Total Rental income are 1) BHG occupies 41.3% of Total committed Gross Rentable Area (GRA) and contributes to 22.9% of Total Rental Income. 2) Carrefour Supermarket occupies 10.7% of committed GRA and contributes 4% of Total Rental Income.

The rest of the tenants all contribute 4% or less of the Total Rental Income which gives CRCT a well diversify low risk spread of tenants.

Potential Upside

Near term growth stems from the recently revamped CapitaMall Minzhongleyuan mall opened 1 May 2014. Also CapitaMall Grand Canyon mall that was acquired in 1H13 is also expected to have its NPI raised by end-2014 due to new lease signed at higher rents. In the longer term, CRCT can tap on ROFR acquisition of CapitaMalls Asia assets granted by various CapitaMalls Asia funds.  

CapitaMall Anzhen, CapitaMall Erqi and most of CapitaMall Shuangjing’s GRA are contracted under master lease, which has provisions for increase of rental revenues through step-ups in the base rent. In addition, master leased malls also provide further potential upside through a percentage of tenants’ sales turnover if the turnover exceeds an agreed threshold. Similarly, most of the leases for the anchor, mini-anchors and specialty tenants have clauses with annual step-up in the base rent and include provisions for rent to be payable at the then applicable base rent or at a percentage of sales turnover, whichever is the higher.

So far, CRCT had enjoyed healthy portfolio rental reversion of 24.9% as of 1H14.

Rolf’s View

China rapid urbanization is definitely going to spur CRCT long term business prospects.

Having seen myself and heard from my China friends, well-accessible malls in the cities are always busy and crowded. People in China love to shop! While the older Chinese generation are generally savers, the younger generations tend to spend more relative to their income.

In view of the growing population and scarce land in bigger cities in China, property asset re-valuation upward potential is high.  For the record, as of 1H14 compared to half year ago, CRCT’s portfolio valuation rose 3.7%.

Of course not everything is smooth sailing. China is anticipated to experience decelerated economic growth than before, with loan default hard landing problems on the headlines speculated by many investors. The potential rising interest rate environment is not making it any easier too for CRCT future acquisition plans.  

Moreover, 87% of CRCT’s Total Rental Income is coming from committed leases with turnover rent provisions. There will be a danger of sales decline affecting the company rental income. 


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Saturday, 13 September 2014

Why China Today is so Different - My Own Travel Experiences in the Last 10 Years!

Although I frequent China for last decade, the last two weeks were most intense. It is the only time I am in the country for consecutive work weeks. I wrote a post on the plane to share my views on the country. 


Conversation with a Chinese Taxi Driver

To begin, I will like to share an interesting conversation I had with a Chinese Taxi driver from Qingdao few days back. Coincidently, the driver worked in Singapore for three years as a waiter. Two years ago he returned to Qingdao, his home town. So why did he leave Singapore?

I was told that working in both cities do not make any difference in terms of salary. As a Taxi Driver in Qingdao, he earns net CNY7 to 8k equal to SGD1.4 to 1.6k driving 10 to 12 hours a day probably every day. When he worked in Singapore, as a waiter for 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, his salary is same or less. I think he excluded overtime. Taking into consideration housing rental and a higher cost of living, he is actually no better off. in Singapore On top of that, he missed home. 

The only benefit he mentioned while in Singapore was probably the ability to save more money and not spend unnecessary. This is probably because the objective is clear when working overseas for him – to save and return home with a bucket of money! With the savings he accumulated in Singapore, he paid 40% down payment on a new apartment instead of the minimum 30% ruling in China.

He then give a general statement that nowadays, people who stay in developed places like Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Qingdao etc will not go to Singapore to work for the money, maybe only for the work experience. 

I can tell from the conversation that he is a happy now and does not miss our Lion City very much. The only thing the Qingdao driver missed in Singapore is the curry and the durian, I was told!

Specifically for Taxi driver, this can be the case only for Qingdao. In cities like Beijing and Shanghai, being a cabby is very frustrating as Traffic is always busy! Below two receipts I keep for reference here in my blog. 

You can see that while fares (CNY25-26) are similar, distance traveled in Shanghai (5km) is more than half less than that of Qingdao (11.6km). This means that Shanghai fares are twice more expensive. However time taken is much longer in Shanghai. Example, it takes 23min to travel 5km in Shanghai, while it takes 16min to travel 11.6km in Qingdao. 

China Today

China had seen incredibly strong economic success for the last decade averaging double digit percentage point growth a year. People are flocking to major cities in search of “better life” and job prospect. Today, major cities like Shanghai and Beijing has population around 24 to 21 million respectively. Data estimate that both cities will have population surpassed 50 million by 2050. Aside from the economic success, the country is also visibly more cultured today. Admittedly, many new migrants to the city from rural areas may still be uncouth. However the Chinese are very fast learner and as time passed, together with higher education and greater city-life exposure they are becoming more refined each day.  

Examples of Improvements

Plane Experience
One noticeable change sighted is “Plane experience” now and then. My maiden visit to the mainland was approximately ten years ago on business trip, where I flew to Shanghai via China Eastern Airlines. China Eastern Airlines then had no video entertainment. Seat legroom was restricted and cabin crews were so well-trained compare to most developed airline companies. The less than glamorous plane was definitely bearable if you have to compare to the conduct of passengers.

After boarding the plane, the punishment begins. You will be deafened by loud conversations. Plane seats will always be inclined regardless of taking off, descent or meal time. You can also find frequent intrusion of space with wide elbows and knees. During flight descent, you can see passenger standing up to catch a glimpse of the scenery, despite cabin crew shouting their lungs out asking people to remain seated. Upon landing while plane is traveling at full speed, passengers will start to unbuckle and stand up to open the overhead compartment, seemingly worried that they have no time to get their belongings later. Once the plane come to a stop, people will all be in a rush, start to push and shove their ways to be in front.

Today, most of my business trips within mainland are with China Eastern Airlines. The plane experiences are grave improvements compared to the past. Most people are already accustomed to flying, in line with the economic developments of the nation. Passengers are more mild-mannered and familiar with plane etiquette. Noise levels are lowered; seats are upright during takeoff with passengers buckled safely; uncommon to see passengers stand up during descent or landing and lesser push and shove. Cabin crews are more polite too with cleaner air-craft environment. And of course uncivilized behaviors still exist especially for people first time experience on flight, but the country is taking a big step forward. Below are pictures of China Eastern Airlines plane, I boarded last week. It is definitely one of the better China Eastern Airlines planes I have taken. 


Toilet
The toilets in China are generally cleaner today. In some men’s toilet urinals, you will also see posters that read: 向前一小步,文明一大步!This means to "take one step forward (in doing your toilet business), and you will see huge cultural improvements." 



Drinking Session
While drinking and smoking are still an integral part of Chinese business culture, I had seen the down trend. In my own experiences seen, Chinese born in year 1980 and before, normally drink or smoke less today compared to those aged 40s and later. 


I was once told by a Chinese Company President that in the past, toasts and bottom ups are inevitable part of his business dinners. Today, he drank for pleasure, quit smoking and also exercise more. Of course on the contrary, I also met another President that bottom up almost every red wine glass, making dinner last only for a short one hour, before everyone "gone” with the alcohol! I was told that this President enjoyed the “hype” atmosphere brought about by the high alcohol levels, more than the love for the drink itself.

Rolf’s View

These are just some examples of China’s startling advancement (non-tangibles) for the last decade. I am convinced that country will be the top economy powerhouse surpassing USA, twenty years from now or even earlier.


China vs India
Some people like to compare India to China having the same potential of success. I doubt so. The people of China are so motivated, dynamic and eager to learn. More importantly, a lot of the Chinese who accumulated education and career successes abroad eventually return to China. Admittedly, the Indians are motivated and dynamic too, but talented Indians are leaving the country and reside permanently abroad. 

China authoritarian government also mean policies are passed and implemented faster and easily than the democratic India. I had been to both countries but the improvements I seen in China is not felt in India. One obvious example is the road infrastructure. China has roads (building more) so well organized than India. India roads are always almost two-lane, unpaved, dirty with frequent crossing of people and even cows and other animals.  

China

India 

What it means for Singapore future generations
To be honest, I am starting to worry for our future generations. Today Singapore still has an edge over China having built our foundations much earlier and having more international exposure. Of course it is less polluted too! This also explains why American and European countries love to have their Asia Pacific HQ in Singapore rather than China even if majority of the market is within mainland. Very often Singapore is acting like a bridge between China and the west since we are bilingual and expose to cultures of both worlds. But what lies ahead may be tougher for us as the Chinese continue to pick up steam and surge forward.

Singaporeans need to continue upgrade and invest in ourselves to stay ahead!


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