Onto the last leg of the journey in Beijing, China now. Dubai was absolutely humming, as you can see by the departures board from 1am-7am in the morning. They are all Emirates flights, with one leaving on average every 6 minutes. There’s an amazing history – 30 years young.
I met with Dr Wang and his team at the CCIEE, which an economic organisation which “operates under the guidance and supervision of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in terms of it’s business scope and is registered in the Ministry of Civil Affairs”. The NDRC is heavily involved in China’s five year plans, so it was an honour to be hosted.
We covered a lot, but a few take-outs from the discussion were:
- The importance of innovation led right from the top
- How integration between central, regional and local government can enable economies including significant local ownership for economic growth
- Even in a massive civilisation, the recognition of the importance of different locations
- The interdependence of cities and rural areas. Will urbanisation be reversed and does it outweigh the negatives of high house prices and affect on quality of life?
- Transport as a key enabler in connecting resources and people
- Trade zones…more to come on those later in the week
Then an afternoon session with Charlie and the team at Mahon China. A great summary of their key insights into economic development was the proverb Cross a river by feeling the stones. Could the five year plan more be described as a five year target that is achieved with innovation and pragmatism? Can pilot projects be tested and developed before rolling out to other regions? What can NZ learn from China and these questions?
And finally, a very quick shot from Tiananmen Square which is huge.