Part of the reason why I’m here in South Korea beyond the fact I was giving a second chance to someone who seemed to not really take it too seriously and the great opportunities on the work front is an even greater belief that for the next 50 years or so being in the East will probably be a good thing. China used to be dominant inventing things right and left and was the leader of the world in many ways. Personally, if you’ve met any Chinese, you know that they are very driven. In general, Asians are driven. This past year both India and China have climbed with double digit growth rates and it doesn’t look like they will be slowing down any time soon.
Why didn’t this happen earlier? Obviously, under communistic rule, China couldn’t grow as economically strong as they are now, but since they are moving closer and closer towards a capitalistic society, it appears the country of 1.3 billion will only move towards the economic prowess they once had. As a result, Korea and many other of the countries it has stronger ties with will benefit. Korea didn’t just escape from the IMF crisis of less than a decade ago to rise back up to being one of the top 15 economies by the relationships they created with the west. The top two trading partners for Korea are … [drum roll] … the U.S. AND China.
It’s not that complicated, but due to past strong ties with China, Korea will benefit from this rising economic tide that will only grow moving forward. I’m considering being a part of it for a bit longer. At one point, I thought I couldn’t live here, but now I’m reconsidering. At times, it doesn’t feel as clean as it is in Seattle and the weather extremes are worse than the northwest, but nothing more harsh than New York or Chicago I’m thinking. It could be a 5, 10 or 50 year stay…we’ll see.
Other evidence that the world is shifting:
- the list of Chinese billionaires this past year grew their net worth from $38 billion to $120 billion in one year
- the richest person in the world now is an Indian; the #5 or so is also an Indian
- the 9th richest is a Hong Kong citizen – Li Ka-shing
Also, I would not even hesitate to believe the next wave of economic activity will come from Russia. The country that used to outdo the U.S. in the Olympics and other sporting events has the same ability to dominate on the economic front. Fourteen of the top 100 billionaires in a list posted here on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_billionaires_%282007%29 were Russian. The U.S. had 39 on this list. Germany had 9. India had 8.