By Karl Ayling, Aug 4 2016 05:58PM
News and current affairs reporting has gone through something of a revolution in recent years. Twitter, Yahoo News, Facebook and many other outlets instantly report events every day.
Traditional sources of information, particularly the printed variety are becoming increasingly irrelevant in the modern era.
A few years ago whilst I was still working in the UK financial services sector, I attended a lecture in the City of London given by one of the worlds biggest independent fund managers.
The lecture related to the economic rise of countries in the east. Mainly that of China and India.
This was news from an exclusive source that even to this day I haven't heard in quite the same way.
The main points were that the world economic order was swinging away from the 'West' and back toward the 'East' where the advanced civilisations resided whilst the West was sitting in the dark ages.
The lecturer advised that the cost of doing business east of Rome, was around the same as doing business with the west, with all its taxes and red-tape. This despite the extent of corruption and commonplace bungs, to help get-things-done!
To back this up, there were some startling statistics. The first was that 90/95% of the worlds cranes were east of Dubai. China is in the process of building dozens of cities as millions of people are relocating away from a rural life to congregate, work and live in big new cities.
In fact, China is building around 130 skyscrapers whilst the USA is building just a few.
Furthermore, the growing Chinese middle classes are fixated on certain high-end western brands, such as Audi, VW, and Porsche. Which, it was suggested would see the demise of once great European marques such as Peugeot/Citroen and Renault within 20 years or so - each enjoying substantial French Government support to help keep them going despite a glut of over-produced outdated models being 'parked' in airfields all around the UK and other sites.
Helping fuel this phenomenon is a pretty well educated and competitive, mobile workforce. Chinese products are finding their way into the everyday lives of all of us.
In stark contract, Russia has had the same opportunities to gain and retain its status as a tiger economy, but, has failed to make recent headway. One of the reasons for this, it was suggested, was that the Russians (who practise the same form of Communism as China) just hasn't been able to transform inward looking anti-western rhetoric. To the extent that a recently built Chinese manufacturing city that sits opposite a Russian city, divided by a river border, has economic and infrastructure development that leaves its Russian neighbour in the middle ages. Struggling with alcohol addiction and social deprivation the like of which has not been seen since WW2.
Part of the explanation of Russia's woes comes from the fact the there is a shrinking population with less people being born or immigrating there than are dying. The latest statistics show Russia's population shrank by -0.01% in 2016 whilst China's grew by 1.382% despite the effect of stringent population control measures in the last few decades.
So in summary from what I have learned,it looks to me like one nation wants to grow economically, expand its manufacturing into new world markets and tackle the apparently detrimental Communist legacy to which it adheres. And one does not.
To end on a surprising note: At the current rate of growth, the Chinese church will be one of the biggest in the world inside 20 years. Russia has just announced and is enforcing draconian anti-religion measures throughout the country.
Bye for now