Editorial: Have old economies lost their edge?

Received wisdom suggests that older economies need not worry about the decline of their manufacturing capability, and the trend has been for them to outsource as much as possible overseas. This is unwise, argues Tokyo-based author and journalist Eamonn Fingleton, who looks back to a US 'golden age' when everything that went into its products, down to the last screw, was made in America. What it and other developed nations have lost, Fingleton suggests, is competitive edge and crucial manufacturing know-how.

by Morice Mendoza, editor
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

Meanwhile, food retail chains based in France, the UK and US are set for a global battle. The big supermarkets - Tesco, Carrefour and Wal-Mart - have recognised that as home growth slows, they must establish a presence in the emerging markets. And the way in which they do this will be a lesson into how to operate abroad successfully. Currently, it seems that Tesco has found the smoothest way to cross borders - by joint venture agreements.

The small desert state of Dubai has undergone an amazing transformation, thanks largely to the planning and vision of the ruling family, now led by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He compares his role to that of a CEO and is driving a staggering economic and property boom. Having recognised that it could not depend on its oil reserves alone, the rulers have taken advantage of Dubai's location - midway between Europe, Asia and Africa - to turn it into a hub to rival Singapore.

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