China Business Sources president, Colin Wu, presented the first keynote address at the 2006 National Manufacturing Week in Rosemont, IL. Discussing Chinese competitiveness, Wu cited multiple reasons for the country's success.
According to Wu, the success of China in the manufacturing sector is not only based on cheap labor. Wu cites improvements in Chinese economic policies in order to meet global competitiveness. Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) has also aided China in becoming a global economy.
“Before 1990, China sold simple goods,” Wu said. “Since the 1990’s, China has become increasingly popular in global markets.”
Wu cites the death of Mao Tse-tung as a turning point for China’s economy. “One year after Mao’s death, China’s old system started to crumble.” Wu said.
Wu went on to discuss the “human nature of frugality” as a major reason for China’s competitiveness. The ongoing success of chains like Wal-Mart, Target and The Home Depot are directly related to their high buying power to purchase cheap goods from China.
Another reason for the success of China is the “hardworking, obedient and entrepreneurial” spirit of the people, according to Wu.
“Chinese people are entrepreneurs. They start small businesses and reinvest their money,” Wu said. “Russians drink too much and the Americans complain too much and blame others for their problems.” In an interview with Manufacturing.net staff members after the keynote, Wu expanded on his thoughts on the American worker.
“When the American worker is laid off, they look to workman’s compensation. When the Chinese worker is laid off, there is no attrition, no income next month. They have nothing to fall back on.”
Wu closed his keynote by recommending to American companies to “sell something that could not be made well in China, such as short run items.” He also suggested facing the challenge with a positive attitude and the importance of establishing the band name of the product.