Flavored juice drinks sit on a shelf in a grocery store in Manila. (Bloomberg)
According to The Wall Street Journal, MANILA — Economies in Southeast Asia are not the only things growing in the region. Waistlines are too – and that has doctors and health experts worried about the strains a clutch of new health problems could put on many countries still in the process of developing.
Rapid economic growth has created new and expanding middles classes in places like Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. But new affluence is also driving up the rate of “life-style” diseases, including hypertension, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory illness, say doctors.
Together, those diseases account for 80% of the deaths in Asia, but health experts say it need not be that way – most could be addressed by people simply changing the way they eat and live.
“We must have behavior change,” Shin Young-soo, the World Health Organization’s regional director for the Western Pacific, said during a recent health summit in Manila.
As regional incomes improve, people have more money to spend on fast food and processed snacks. In recent years, demand for meat and dairy has also risen dramatically in many of Southeast Asia’s emerging economies.
But changes in diets combined with lack of exercise has made Asians more prone to diabetes than their counterparts in the West, said Dr. Shin, one of nearly 200 health and development experts attending a week-long gathering here aimed at discussing non-communicable diseases and finding way to combat them.
Posted by camelliacamellia on October 29, 2013
The Role of the New Generation of China Amidst China’s Expanding Global Influence
China has made an extraordinary journey along the road back to greatness. Hundreds of millions have been lifted out of poverty, hundreds of millions more have joined the new middle class. It is on the verge of reclaiming what it sees as its rightful position in the world. China’s global influence is expanding and within a decade its economy is expected to overtake America’s. The new head of the country, Xi Jinping, has evoked that rise promoting the “Chinese dream” evoking its American equivalent. Mr Xi’s priority will be to keep the economy growing and that means opening up China even more. What will be the role of the Chinese new generation? Will nationalism interfere with the rhetoric of the resurgent nation? Will corruption and official excess be curbed? Will the constitution become more powerful than the party?
Posted by Innovator on June 5, 2013
The Possibility of Chinese Real Estate Developers Moving to the United States
One of China’s biggest real estate developers, China Vanke, just announced its entry into the U.S. housing market, partnering with New York-based Tishman Speyer Properties to build luxury condos in San Francisco. Changing demographics, pent-up demand and limited supply suggest that more housing is needed in the U.S., and savvy consumers are looking for new options in housing and lifestyle. The U.S. can expect to see about 1.3 million households newly formed each year for the next decade, making housing starts at an annual rate of around 900,000 inadequate; in the same way, interest rates for mortgages are very low at this moment. What else do developers from China see in the U.S. market? Is the suggested bubble in Chinese real estate encouraging local developers to move to the U.S.?
Posted by Innovator on June 4, 2013
Japanese stocks plunge on weak China data, higher yield, and stronger yen.
Anna Kitanaka from Bloomberg reports that Japan’s Topix index tumbled almost 7 percent, the most since the aftermath of the March 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster, as financial firms slid amid rising bond yields. Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average futures traded in Osaka and Singapore fell in after-hours trade, signaling further declines.
Every company in the Nikkei 225 (NKY) retreated for the first time since April 2005. Consumer lenders lost 11 percent to lead declines among the Topix’s 33 industry groups. Mitsubishi Estate Co., the country’s biggest developer, slid 9.3 percent. Mitsubishi Motor Corp. dropped 14 percent, falling a second day after advancing more than 50 percent in the previous three days. Tokyo Electric Power Co. plunged 13 percent.
Posted by Innovator on May 23, 2013
As Chinese data continues to deteriorate, housing continues to show weakness and bad debts rise, some take solace in the fact that this is all part of China’s plan to rebalance its economy and cool growth.
In a paper, Li Zuojun, deputy director at the Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC) writes that after 30 years of rapid growth, China is beginning to restructure. And that the economy now faces 9 major challenges.
China scopefeatures excerpts from Li’s work, which we summarize here:
- Slowdown in economic growth:China’s economy is slowing and this isn’t temporary it reflects “the market’s direction”. This means that “companies will face losses to the point of bankruptcy” and the pressure on employment will rise.
- Long-term inflation:Chinese consumer price inflation has gone from 6.5 percent in 2011, down to 2.2 percent in June 2012. Inflation is an intermediate to long-term problem for China which means the country needs to increase its “tolerance” for and “resilience” to inflation.
Posted by byu2012 on September 7, 2012
BANGKOK: Asian stock markets fell on Tuesday as uncertainty persisted about what authorities in the U.S., China and Europe might do to deal with a souring global economy.
The previous day’s trading was dominated by a survey suggesting that China’s manufacturing sector was contracting. Though a bad sign for the global economy, the data raised expectations that Chinese authorities will announce additional measures to bolster growth.
But the People’s Bank of China appears to be resisting calls for more aggressive measures after the huge stimulus in response to the 2008 global financial crisis fueled inflation and a wasteful spending boom.
“We are all waiting for more monetary policy to come out,” said Linus Yip, strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong. “We are all waiting and hope the PBOC will do something.”
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.1 percent to 8,773.14. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.3 percent to 19,497.47 and South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.2 percent to 1,907.70. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.6 percent to 4,303.30.
Posted by byu2012 on September 5, 2012
Yoshihiko Noda, Japan’s prime minister
Japan’s political gridlock threatens to curtail the government’s ability to apply fiscal stimulus as a rebound falters in the world’s third-largest economy.
Opposition parties in the upper house of parliament stymied legislation approved in the lower house Aug. 28 that enables the issuance of 38.3 trillion yen ($490 billion) of deficit- financing bonds, seeking to force Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda into an early election. The government could hit a spending ceiling as soon as October, according to the Finance Ministry.
The freeze may suspend outlays from this year’s budget for the first time, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and limits Noda from proceeding with the supplementary spending package he mooted in July. With economists increasingly seeing an economic contraction this quarter, the deadlock adds to risks facing global expansion that include a so-called fiscal cliff of spending cuts and tax increases in the U.S. at year-end.
“The impasse on deficit-covering bonds may delay the compilation of a stimulus package and would be a drag for the economy,” said Taro Saito, Tokyo-based director of economic research at NLI Research Institute and a past winner of a Japan Center for Economic Research award for accuracy in forecasting. “This is not as severe as the U.S. fiscal cliff but could be said to be Japan’s fiscal slope.”
Posted by byu2012 on September 4, 2012
Latest Treasury InternationalCapital report suggests that China has the net buying of US Treasury securities in June 2012, albeit only marginally, with holding increased by about US$300 million. China remains the largest holder of US Treasury securities, and Japan continued to come second.
In the chart below, we show the US Treasury securities holding of China and Japan as per TIC report among with the size of China’ FX reserve as reported by the People’s Bank of China. Obviously they are on different scale. The pace of FX reserve accumulation by China has already slowed, especially since last year, partly due to the FX effect of the Euro’s weakness as well asselling of FX assets due to capital outflow.
Posted by byu2012 on August 15, 2012
HTC, the Taiwanese company that is one of the leading makers of Android-powered smartphones, is the controlling shareholder in Beats Electronics, the Santa Monica (Calif.)-based producer of high-end headphones founded by rap producer Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, the chairman of Interscope, Geffen and A&M. You wouldn’t know that, though, from the statement Beats issued on July 2 announcing its acquisition of MOG, an on-demand music service. The announcement trumpets the importance of the deal for Beats—and does not mention that the California company is part of HTC, which bought control of Beats last year.
The omission is just a small indicator of a problem that HTC and other Taiwanese companies face as they try to survive as consumer brands. Taiwan is an important part of the global economy, thanks largely to its electronics industry, and the backbone of the industry has long been companies that produce computers, chips, displays and other components for others. The classic example of a Taiwanese company that does this sort of work in the background, without putting its own brand on the finished goods, is Foxconn, which makes iPhones and iPads for Apple.
Posted by Innovator on July 17, 2012
On a sultry afternoon in May, Richard Friedman sits in the back of a 1990s Buick with faulty air conditioning, mired in traffic in downtown Yangon (formerly Rangoon). The rainy season in Myanmar—also known as Burma—has just begun, and the sky is a leaden gray; the temperature is pushing 95F. Friedman, one of the highest-profile American investors to be lured by the siren call of this newly opened Southeast Asian country, peers out at a sweep of colonial-era buildings, many of them derelict. We drive past the old British Customs House and the former Pegu Club, where Rudyard Kipling spent his only night in Burma, in 1889, while traveling from Calcutta to San Francisco. The stories he heard there inspired his poem “Mandalay.”
A short, vigorous 72-year-old who coached the Harvard ski team after graduating from Dartmouth in the early 1960s, Friedman made his name turning neglected but historic properties into top-flight hotels. In 2005 he redeveloped San Francisco’s 1907 Williams Building into a $180 million mixed-used project that includes the St. Regis Hotel, condominiums, and the Museum of the African Diaspora. Two years later he transformed the 19th century Charles Street Jail on Boston’s Beacon Hill into the four-star Liberty Hotel. Friedman is the president and chief operating officer of Carpenter & Co., a Cambridge (Mass.)-based real estate development and management company. He’s also a major Democratic fundraiser. During the 1990s, the Clintons used his beachfront home on Martha’s Vineyard as their summer White House half a dozen times.
Posted by Innovator on July 17, 2012