Monday, 12 December 2011

Production input inflation moderates slightly

As China prepares to withstand the shock of a deteriorating situation in Europe, it is clear that there is not much room for manoeuvre.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Hu's answer to Europe

Cartoon by Christian Adams in The Telegraph.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Hong Kong still thriving 10 years after I left...

I left Hong Kong ten years ago. It was a great place to live and work (I was then Chief Economist for Asia and Bureau Chief at the Economist Intelligence Unit, EIU), but my lungs couldn't stand the air pollution, which has since got worse. After spending a fortune on medication and short breaks in cleaner climates, I moved back to the UK briefly before being enticed to Paris, where I ended up as Head of Global Relations in the Investment Division of the OECD, working mainly with China on the country's investment policies.

Yesterday I attended a seminar in New York organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) to present Hong Kong as "America's Bridge to Asian Growth". As always with HKTDC events, the presentations were authoritative, informative and wholly persuasive. 

Monday, 14 November 2011

Consumer Prices for October 2011

National Bureau of Statistics of China 9 November 2011
In October, the consumer price index went up by 5.5 percent year-on-year. 

Investment in Fixed Assets from January to October 2011

National Bureau of Statistics of China 10 November 2011
From January to October, the investment in fixed assets (excluding rural households) 
reached 24,136.5 billion yuan, up by 24.9 percent year-on-year, remained the general 
level over the first nine months of this year.

Total Retail Sales of Consumer Goods in October 2011

National Bureau of Statistics of China 11 November 2011

In October 2011, the total retail sales of consumer goods attained 1654.6 billion yuan, 
up 17.2 percent year-on-year (Nominal growth rate. The real growth rate was 
11.3 percent. The follows are nominal growth rates if there’s no additional explanation). 
Of the total, the retail sales of consumer goods of industrial enterprises (units) above 
designated size was 762.9 billion yuan, increased 21.3 percent. From January to October, 
the total retail sales of consumer goods amounted to 14735.7 billion yuan, up 17.0 percent 
of nominal growth rate, (or up 11.2 percent of real growth rate) year-on-year. 
Month-on-month increase of the total retail sales of consumer goods in October was 1.3 percent.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Occasional note on the abuse of English: going forward

UPDATE: Since I posted this comment in November 2011, I have started a new blog, Ken Davies' Writing Clean Clear English ( This comment is published there, along with a developing body of advice on how to write and speak good English.

This is the first of a series of occasional comments on current abuses of the English language common in business writing. These may be collected and published at a later date.

There are a number of phrases which add nothing to the meaning of a sentence but are frequently used by commentators on the business and/or economic scene. Their purpose appears to be socioeconomic: they indicate that the speaker or writer wishes to appear an authoritative expert, worth many times the salary of a comparable academic or a mere member of the public with a similar opinion.

One of these that I find particularly irritating is "going forward". The speaker/writer invariably inserts this in a sentence that already contains a future tense, for example "price increases will decelerate going forward", so the phrase is clearly redundant.

Next time you hear/read a sentence containing "going forward", ask yourself if the same sentence would make sense if the phrase were to be replaced by "going backward", perhaps accompanied by the past tense.

If you are still not cured, just try the sentence without those two words. Is there is any difference? Of course not.

This note will have served its purpose if even one person stops using this meaningless formula.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Let's be serious, Europe

I don't think anyone in their right mind seriously thought China was going to save the Eurozone by bailing out the indebted countries with a generous contribution to the European Financial Stability Facility.

True, it is in China's interest that the European Union economy remains stable, since it is China's largest export market. On Monday 7 November 2011 Vice Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan reiterated this point when he spoke on CCTV about this relationship on the occasion of the visit of CCPCC Chair Jia Qingling to Greece, the Netherlands and Germany. He said that, in addition to the aim of stepping up economic co-operation between China and each of the three countries, China supported Europe in its efforts to resolve the debt crisis. As a "comprehensive strategic partner of the EU", he promised, China would support these efforts and support Greece and other European countries with practical actions to overcome the crisis.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Macroeconomic climate indices for China1995-2011
National Bureau of Statistics of China

Friday, 28 October 2011

China's GDP growth was 9.4% in the first nine months

The National Bureau of Statistics on 18 October 2011 issued preliminary data for the first 3 quarters of 2011.

The full report is on the Chinability website.


Thursday, 27 October 2011

Personal update, continued: OECD

I moved to Paris in March 2002 to work in the Investment Division of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). I would still be there, but I reached 65 in August 2010 and the OECD has a strictly implemented compulsory retirement policy. This is inconsistent with the OECD's excellent recommendations on policies to deal with global ageing, which include delaying the age of retirement. The recommendation is based on research going back to the 1990s and is already being put into practice by a number of OECD Member countries, for example the United Kingdom. The most powerful Member country, the United States, has allowed a higher age of retirement since the 1970s.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Chinese FDI in the United States is taking off: How to maximize its benefits?

Perspectives on topical foreign direct investment issues by the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment
No. 49, October 24, 2011
Editor-in-Chief: Karl P. Sauvant (
Editor: Ken Davies (
Managing Editor: Alma Zadic (
Chinese FDI in the United States is taking off: How to maximize its benefits?
Thilo Hanemann and Daniel H. Rosen*
China’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) grew rapidly in the past decade, but flows to developed economies have been limited. Now China’s direct investment flows to the United States are poised to rise substantially. This new trend offers tremendous opportunities for the U. S., provided policymakers take steps to keep the investment environment open and utilize China’s new interest productively.

Monday, 24 October 2011


Last week I passed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license exam with a score of 100%, so I now have a Technician Class License and can for the first time transmit as well as receive on the relevant amateur radio bands. My station call sign is KD2AZU. 

A personal update, starting with the EIU

The mini-biography in the left-hand column of this blog gives just the bare bones. For those who are interested, I'm going to add a few details to put some flesh on those bones. For those who are not interested, skip to something else or go and make a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

哥伦比亚大学维尔可持续国际投资中心 FDI 热门专题的观点

33 单方指定仲裁员制度的缺陷  2010  12  14 
26 FDI 的政治激励  2010 6 28
1 FDI 衰退期已经开始  2008 11 22

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Why and how least developed countries can receive more FDI to meet their development goals

Ken Davies
Vale Columbia Center FDI Perspective No. 40, June 20, 2011
The 48 least-developed countries[1] (LDCs), most of them in sub-Saharan Africa and a few in Asia, need foreign direct investment (FDI) to help meet their development targets. The FDI they now receive, although inadequate, is enough to demonstrate that investors see potential in them. It is therefore realistic for LDCs to seek more FDI, but they need to enhance their investment environments to attract it in the much greater quantities required. Donors can help by targeting official development assistance (ODA) on investment in human capital and supporting governance improvements. Meanwhile, LDCs should establish effective investment promotion agencies (IPAs).

Friday, 18 March 2011

Music as a Natural Resource

Today’s world is in dire need of creative solutions to the challenges of sustainable community development, trauma, health and well being stemming from a host of factors such as poverty, disease, economic uncertainty and war.

Music for too long has been overlooked as a resource to effectively address these and other social and economic issues. Since the earliest days of human existence, music has been engrained into our very being. All humans are born with an innate sensitivity to tone and rhythm. Music has been and is still being used as a vital force of self-expression, communication, empowerment and healing in a wide range of activities: social, political, educational, religious, and as a release from the daily tensions of life.