It has been a very tiring 10 days! The 3 city tour really took a lot out of me. The biggest takeaway I have out of this trip is how amazed I am at Singaporeans not taking advantage of the brand equity we have as Singaporeans.
What do I mean?
We are proud to be Singaporeans and rightly so. Singapore has progressed very well over the last 40 plus years to become a regional economic powerhouse. We certainly punch above our weight in terms of economic prowess. However, Singaporeans have not taken advantage of this and to a lot of Chinese, we might be even be deemed as arrogant. From my observation, there are Chinese and there are Chinese. The majority of Chinese are still in poverty stricken areas. The earlier cities to develop are actually quite wealthy now. They have seen the world and they know how to go with the tide.
I met quite a few very enterprising Chinese this trip. Their business might have been affected by the financial crisis but they are not resigned to their fate. One real estate developer I met is turning this crisis into opportunities. I really salute him for his resilience and commitment to his beliefs.
Many impacted businessmen are exploring other business opportunities and have plans to counter such downturns by diversifying their risks. China is a sleeping dragon that is just about to awake. Many Singaporeans cannot imagine the wealth of rich Chinese. The question is not whether they will emerge as the biggest economy in the world, but rather when. So ride the wave. Remember, the trend is your friend, so not go against your friend.