China Outcompetes Europe

One country seems bent on attaining the goals of the EU’s Lisbon Agenda. That country is China. As the Financial Times wrote last Saturday:

Within five years China will be investing a higher proportion of its gross domestic product in research and development than the European Union, as more western companies move their R&D eastwards, the European Commission fears.

Janez Potocnik, EU commissioner for research, warned: “The Chinese trend is extremely clear. If the trend continues, they [China] will catch us up in 2009 or 2010. The conditions for R&D in some emerging markets like China are improving and it is obvious that they [European companies] are transferring some of their investments there.”

Some causes:

Mr Potocnik’s worries about Europe’s unfavourable R&D environment range from excessive red tape to insufficient corporate tax incentives and continued divergences in intellectual property protection and patenting across the 25-nation EU.

The article reminds us of recent attempts to increase R&D spending by EU officialdom itself:

A Brussels plan to double the EU's own R&D budget to €70bn over the next six years was shelved in June amid an acrimonious battle among EU leaders over future EU funding.

That would be the summit in which President Chirac, in refusing to reform the EU budget to reflect more R&D spending, referred to the agricultural sector as “modern and dynamic”.

More hits from the FT article:

Mr Potocnik's forecast is certain to reinforce concerns that China will soon present as much of a competitive threat to Europe in high-value sectors such as information technology as in low-end manufactured goods such as bras and tee-shirts, which were at the heart of the textiles trade dispute between Brussels and Beijing earlier this year.

Perhaps this was on the mind of someone far wiser than I when he asked me this past week, “Does Europe really matter anymore?”

Déjà vu

Why is it that every article about China that I've read in the last few months reads exactly the same as the articles I read 30 years ago about Japan?

The classic giveaway is of course the phrase "If the trend continues...." Thing is, they never do.

By the way, if the present increasing trend to public protest and disorder in China continues, the country will be riven by civil war starting on 1st October 2018. Mind you, if the present trend in bird flu continues, they'll all be dead long before then.

Bob Doney

You'd better get used to comments like this!

新闻中心影视娱乐音乐天空健康频道旅游频道教育大全天天读书购物频道财经股市体育频道电脑专区新闻中心影视娱乐音乐天空健康频道旅游频道教育大全天天读书购物频道 ...


...and it would be practical!
Imagine a writing which is equal for any language, if you are talking to an Italian, or a Hungarian, and you don't understand him, just ask him to write it down and you will!