Growth Potential in Asia

By Michael Bell Thursday, August 5, 2010

I recently went on a trip to Asia and I wanted to share with you my experience. After a 16-hour flight directly from Newark, NJ, I arrived in Hong Kong. I had the wonderful opportunity to stay with a family who has lived in Hong Kong for almost 55 years. Since this was my first time in Asia, I was not sure what to expect, but I knew going into this trip that I was going to be open to everything.

Hong Kong means Fragrant Harbor; it was formerly a British Colony and was handed over to the People’s Republic of China in 1997. Even though it is now part of China, it has its own currency (Hong Kong Dollar) and the Hong Kong government is financially independent from the government of The People’s Republic of China. The city of Hong Kong is very industrialized and is growing by the year. As of today, there are currently 7 million people living in Hong Kong; most people speak both English and Cantonese and it is known as the safest city in Asia.

One of the things I enjoyed most about Hong Kong was how genuine the people are. They make you feel at home and welcome you with open arms.  During my 10 days there, I saw a great deal of the city. Hong Kong has it all;  from great restaurants to great markets\, to magnificent views. Even for me, a person whose biggest pet peeve is to shop, I enjoyed shopping in Hong Kong, and the best part was I could bargain the price and walk away feeling good about what I paid for it.

I found Hong Kong to be one of most fascinating cities I have ever been to; one of the main reasons I went there was to educate myself on the potential business opportunities Asia has to offer. On my plane ride over, I read a really interesting article called “Asia Holds Growth Potential”. The article talks about how the recent recession has whet U.S. companies' appetite for growth in Asia. In 2008, nearly half of the U.S. companies surveyed saw their China-based businesses perform better than the overall company, according to a U.S.-China Business Council poll of its members. The percentage of U.S. companies whose China operations are profitable is 84% to 16% not profitable. The results show that the once-prevalent notion that U.S. companies “cannot be profitable in China is a myth,” says John Frisbie, the council’s president.  American companies that are able to break into the Asian market will have the potential to leverage the consumer base of some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Some of the American industries that are betting on Asia are pharmaceuticals, autos, casinos and consumer products.

I highly recommend all entrepreneurs visit Asia if possible, but especially Hong Kong, as it is a one-of-kind city and full of opportunity for the global enterprise.

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