THE English language was once described to me, apparently without irony, as the lingua franca of the business world. The implication was that it’s possible to do business anywhere in the world if you can speak English…
In the global economy, though, nothing can be taken for granted and we should always be watching for new developments. A good indicator has to be where the banks are investing. Only this week, the Royal Bank of Scotland announced it is part of a group investing more than $3 billion in the Bank of China.
This follows investments by European and US banks of more than $6bn in China’s lenders, gaining access to an economy which grew by 9.5 percentage points last year, more than twice the rate of the United States.
Add to this the fact that more than one-fifth of the world’s population speaks Chinese, and you begin to see the benefits of having at least some of our business leaders fluent in Mandarin.