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06/15/2010

Four Important Trends In China Promise Big Changes

1) There will be a rise in the labor movement as workers seek higher wages and better working conditions, thus gaining a greater respect for labor laws.

2) As the nation continues to embrace Western-style fast foods and greater meat-heavy fare, the growth of obesity and diabetes will continue to expand. Already 30% of the population is overweight and 92 million Chinese have Type 2 diabetes. (The International Diabetes Federation estimates 500 million Chinese might develop the disease by 2030 � which will place a huge strain on China�s economy and productivity.

3) Since China�s intellectual property rights continue to lag the developing world, Chinese innovators can�t profit from their own advances. Because of piracy and ineffective intellectual property protection their incentives to invent will be undercut, placing a heavy drag on domestic innovation.

4) Despite having a savings rate of 38% (10 times that of the U.S.) Chinese savers have few choices on where to invest their money, namely real estate or domestic stocks. Already a worrisome asset bubble in housing exists (12.4% increase in prices year-over-year). Any widespread losses in real estate would cause long-term financial pain for Chinese households, many of whom have relied on the savings of three generations to buy a home.



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