Sunday, January 7, 2007

Hong Kong - Day 2

We had our first corporate visit today. We heard from Jim Thompson, the CEO of Crown Worldwide Group, at the Crown Wine Cellar. Jim is an American that came to Japan about 50 years ago after college. Crown Worldwide is a logistics company that specializes in relocations, document storage, fine art transportation and logistics. He has also ventured into private wine storage in Hong Kong, which is housed in old military bunkers. He provided some great insight into the Asian business culture, since he has based his corporate operations in Asia for the last 40+ years. He is a big proponent of worldwide free trade, and sees China and India as the next frontiers for business. He had an interesting take on the loss of American jobs to countries like China and India. He said that in order for a worldwide free trade market to be successful, the jobs have to move to where it is most economic to have them, and that the country has to adapt in other ways to compensate for that. He compared Hong Kong to the U.S. as 20-30 years ago, over half of Hong Kong’s population was employed in manufacturing jobs. Today, there is hardly any manufacturing in Hong Kong (it all went to China), and Hong Kong today is more service oriented. The same will have to take place in the U.S. to be successful in the ever expanding global marketplace.

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