Editor’s Note THE YEAR BEGAN with my declaration that the Asia Careers Journal was changing. It would be changing “like never before”- an expression that quickly, and amusingly, became my often-mocked catchphrase. And my, has it changed. From the initial catalyst of a subtle, but profound revision to our name, our publication has risen to new platforms, explored new avenues and greatly expanded in depth. Within a year, we have moved on from our humble origins as an annual printed journal to becoming a multi-media publication group encompassing an online blog, video news broadcast channel and a printed journal. As a group, we combed through headlines and sought for the most pressing and significant issues in the AsiaPacific region to present to our readers and viewers. Our hope was to provide them with critical insight into and spread our passion for a region that was as diverse as it was thrilling. To that end, we experimented with various methods to deliver our findings in an engaging, innovative and dynamic way. As you are reading this, we continue to further refine and develop our new information channels to enhance your experience of our publication. A strong sense of change and development can also be discerned from the pages of the publication before you. From assessing the political restructuring in Myanmar and breakthroughs in the Indian pharmaceutical industry to detailing new opportunities for women in law, we have set out to depict the most critical moments and changes in Asia this year. In line with our second theme, development, we have analyzed leading firms and interviewed industry specialists to assist your personal efforts in discovering and developing your career aspirations. Along the way, we have strove to produce a holistic overview of the Asian region by offering you a glimpse of its equally fascinating cultural dimensions. It has been a tremendous privilege to work with an immensely talented team of individuals this year. The Asia Careers Journal would be bereft of its richness and diversity without the broad range of perspectives and experiences that they bring to the publication. Above all, it is only through their common commitment and genuine desire for continuous development that the journal has become what it is today. As this letter draws to a close, I wish you all the best as you turn over the page and begin to navigate through the changing tides of the East. Bon Voyage!
Christie Mok Editor-in-Chief Asia Careers Journal
About ACS Who are We?
The LSESU Asia Careers Society (â€˜ACSâ€™) is the only society on campus which specializes in providing insights into different career opportunities around Asia.
We act as a platform for members to explore career prospects surrounding the following fields: Accounting, Banking, Law, Management and Consultancy and Alternative Careers.
The ACS has always been dedicated to prepare LSE students for their future careers.
Our size, extensiveness and continued engagement with students and corporate firms have reinforced our reputation as a premier source of information and opportunities within the LSE. Our members are all either from Asia or show strong interests in building career paths in this fast-growing and increasingly influential region.
Throughout the school year, we organize a diverse range of events in hopes of spanning the bridge between firms and LSE students. In offering companies access to our growing membership database, we serve as the perfect channel for firms to recruit graduates of the highest calibre. Read more about our event highlights in this journal or online at lsesu-acs.com, inluding Asia Exposure, Legal Insight and our new in- itiative, the Law Conference 2013.
We aim to increase their understanding of their interested sectors, deliver comprehensive guidance on developing key competency skills and maximize their chances to meet, network and learn from industry professionals. We review and develop our ideas to deliver the most relevant, practical and useful events that are enjoyable for both students and participating companies.
The Changing Tides of The East Christie Mok From the debut of unprecedented reforms and the clash of ideals to the outbreak of geopolitical crises, the year 2013 brought no shortage of changes to the Eastern hemisphere. Political leaders, market agents and social movements alike have sought to redefine the boundaries before them with a never before seen vigor. Before launching into the specific details of change assessed in the ensuing pages, it is prudent to take a step back to look at the proverbial ‘bigger picture’. It is the hope of this article to place things in context and map out key changes in the landscape left by the changing tides of the East.
A New Dream As the poster child for change in 2013, China is a natural candidate for the first stop in our traverse through the East. The year began with whispers of radical reforms brewing within the iron walls of a politburo led by the new president, Xi Jinping. As the haze cleared, an ambitious blueprint arose, stunning observers within and beyond the nation’s borders. Despite the characteristically ambiguous language of the plans, the desire for profound reform was unmistakable: it was time to “revitalize” the Chinese nation. Vowing to transform China into a developed nation by 2049, the republic’s centennial, Xi Jinping urged his people to “Dare to dream, to work assiduously to fulfill the dreams and contribute to the revitalization of the nation”. In pursuit of his new dream for China, Xi Jinping launched reforms that not only consolidated his authority as president of the world’s second-largest economic power but also cut across the economic, political and social spheres of the nation. Under Hu JinTao and Wen Jiabao’s leadership, China was “punch drunk with its new-found wealth”1, and scenes 1 Brown, Kerry. “China 2013: A Year in
of party officials visiting decrepit farmhouses by day and rubbing shoulders with the nouveau riche by night were all too prevalent. From the first day he ascended to the mantle of leadership, Xi JinPing repeatedly declared his intention to tackle China’s rampant corruption. Targeting both “flies and tigers”, 11 ministerial and provincial level leaders were imprisoned; even Jiang Jiemin, head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission and member of the Chinese Central Committee, was subject to allegations of corruption. The greatest trophy in Xi Jinping’s collection of disgraced politicians came in the form of Bo Xilai, who was sentenced to life imprisonment after an astonishingly short trial on charges of bribery, corruption and abuse of power. Although Xi Jinping’s new blueprint fell short of suggesting changes to China’s centralized political structure, some anticipate that his leadership style and other policies may “unintentionally lead to them” in the future2. Whilst
Review.” China Briefing News. Chinabriefing.com, 6 Jan. 2014. Web. 26 Jan. 2014. 2 Goldstein, Avery. “Road to the Chinese Dream? Xi Jinping’s Third Plenum Reform Plan.” KnowledgeWharton. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2014.
campaign against corruption dazzled Chinese nationals, his economic reforms flooded international headlines and thrilled market analysts. For the past 30 years, China had amazed the world with consistent double digit growth that brought 680 million people out of poverty and spawned a burgeoning middleclass with formidable consumption powers. However, there are signs this is slowing down. Whilst one RMB of investment previously created an equivalent increase in China’s nominal GDP growth, by 2013 three RMB of investment was required to produce the same unit of growth3. China risked falling into the “middle income trap”, a class of fast-growing developing nations that become suspended in low growth, able to compete with neither lower wage countries nor innovation-led economies4. Drawing inspiration from the strategies employed by Japan, Taiwan and Korea, Xi Jinping sought to reignite the economy through liberalizing markets, boosting domestic consumption and tapering government investment. China’s new economic era commenced with the opening in September of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, a 29 km2 zone which will allow for currency convertibility and lower barriers to private and foreign investment5. The Shanghai FTZ was followed by the Central Committee’s 3rd Plenum, which set its agenda for nation-wide economic reform. Whilst the previous party rhetoric was that market forces should have a “basic role”, the current central committee declared that the market would hereafter be “decisive” in shaping the economy. To offset China’s shrinking labor force, the committee announced 3 Brown, op. cit. 4 Goldstein, op. cit. 5 Swanson, Ana. “CKGSB Knowledge.” CKGSB Knowledge. N.p., 22 Jan. 2014. Web. 26 Jan. 2014.
plans to withdraw the one-child policy and open up the rural land market to allow for greater social mobility. Suggestions were also made for liberalizing interest rates and dismantling monopolistic state-owned enterprises by enabling private investment and the creation of hybrid-ownership enterprises6. Above all, the agenda conveyed the committee’s desires in shifting away from China’s past as the “export engine and factory to the world” to pursue more complex, innovative and sustainable growth complementing its status as the leader of the 21st century. After a relatively “peaceful rise”7 into the forefront of the global arena, we are now seeing an increasingly assertive China that is unafraid to undertake bold risks. It remains to be seen whether the seeds sown in 2013 will allow China to realize its visionary new dream. A revival of history? As China pursued innovative avenues of growth within its borders, its relationship with a certain neighboring country deteriorated and seemed to take a step back towards a turbulent past. At the recent World Economic Forum in Switzerland, , Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe set aside diplomacy by likening his country’s relationship with China to that between Germany and Britain in the pre-WWI era. Since returning to power in December 2012, Abe has sought to “supercharge Japan’s once fearsome bureaucracy to make it vigorous again”8, feeding the nation on a steady diet of 6 “FT Alphaville.” Third Plenum Cheat Sheet. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2014. 7 Bijian, Zheng. “China’s” peaceful rise” to great-power status.” Foreign Affairs (2005): 18-24. 8 “Abe’s Master Plan.” The Economist (2013): n. pag. 18 May 2013. Web. 25 Jan. 2014.
quantitative easing, expansionary fiscal measures and hikes in consumption taxes. Although global markets were eager to witness whether Abe’s economic policies, coined “Abenomics” would effectively lift the land of the rising sun out of two decades of stagnation9, many more distressed over the state of Sino-Chinese relations and its implications on the balance of powers in the East. Initially triggered by territorial disputes beginning in 2012 over a string of islands in the East China Sea (known as Senkaku Islands in Japan and Diaoyu Islands in China), tensions between China and Japan only heightened in 2013. Officials from each nation mobilized international media outlets and seized every chance to rebuke their counterparts through increasingly creative analogiesone Chinese official compared Japan to Voldemort, the villain in the Harry Potter series. The titfor-tat propaganda war took a more serious turn as the nations dabbled in military and naval competition. After intensifying its patrol of waters around the islands by its marine surveillance agency, China unilaterally declared an Air Defense Identification Zone over a region of the East China Sea in November. Refusing to allow China get the better of it, the Japanese cabinet promptly responded by approving a new national security strategy that included plans to increase military spending to 23.97 trillion yen over the next five years. Japan and China’s increasingly belligerent moves have prompted many to fear the possibility of an armed conflict that will escalate into a lethal global war of an unforeseen scale. Shinzo Abe has scarcely masked his nationalistic sentiments, defying international disapproval by visiting the 9 “Secular Stagnation Risk for EU and Japan.” Financial Times. N.p., 23 Dec. 2013. Web. 26 Jan. 2014.
07 | Economics and Politics
Yasukuni Shrine in December, a shrine dedicated to fallen soldiers including war criminals from WWII10. There have also been talks of repealing Article 9 of the postwar, pacifist Japanese constitution, which renounces warfare and the threat and use of force. Will this be the revival of Japan’s militarist past? One certainly hopes not. The land of frowns Moving down south, a country until recently affectionately known as the land of smiles has been gripped by a clash of political ideals that culminated in the declaration of a state of emergency on January 21st, 2014. Over the years, Thailand has been embroiled in a cycle of political upheaval with a violence and frequency akin to the Monsoonal rains that periodically inundate the nation11.
Against a backdrop of declining economic growth, crippling debt and a dramatic fall in consumer confidence, the recent bout of instability began in early November 2013. The incumbent Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, had attempted to bypass an amnesty bill to allow her brother and former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to return to Thailand after allegations of corruption and a military coup in 2006 left him in self-imposed exile in Dubai. What subsequently precipitated was a sharp political divide between those who remain 10 Payne, Ed, Yoko Wakatsuki “Japanese Prime Minister Abe Visits Controversial Yasukuni War Shrine.” CNN. Cable News Network, 28 Dec. 2013. Web. 26 Jan. 2014. 11 “In Thailand, Political Unrest Adds to Downward Economic Spiral.” Real Time Economics RSS. N.p., 4 Dec. 2013. Web. 26 Jan. 2014.
unwaveringly loyal to the ruling Pheu Thai party and supporters of the main opposition party, the royalist Democrat Party. Pheu Thai supporters accuse the Democrats of favoring the interests of the old Thai establishment12 represented by the civil service, army, judiciary and monarchy. On the other hand, opposition leaders criticize Shinawatra’s government of driving Thailand into bankruptcy with its generous populist policies and corruption. International analysts have also been similarly polarized over the implications of this recent upheaval for Thailand’s political system in the longer term. Bulls have sought to highlight Thailand’s ability to weather supply-side shocks shocks in the past ranging from political unrest to devastating natural disasters. The camp believes that “Teflon Thailand” will again rebound from this temporary disruption, aided by its important role in the global supply supply chain, its ideal location as a gateway into markets such as that of Myanmar and its status as one of Southeast Asia’s most advanced and wealthiest economies. At the other end of the spectrum, skeptics hold that “Teflon Thailand” has been stretched past its breaking point and may soon split into two13. After dissolving the parliament, Yingluck Shinawatra called for a general election to be held on February 2nd, 2014 to determine the future of the Thai government. Anti-government groups have declared their intention to boycott the affair, officially citing the corrupt electoral process as the grounds for their refusal but more likely motivated by the their marginal prospects of overcoming the Shinawatra family’s robust 12 “You Go Your Way, I’ll Go Mine.” Economist.com. The Economist, 25 Jan. 2014. Web. 26 Jan. 2014. 13 Pongsudhirak, Thitinan. “Thailand’s Great Political Divide.” Theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media, 02 Dec. 2013. Web. 26 Jan. 2014.
support group14. Should Yingluck Shinawatra recapture her office as Prime Minister in the upcoming election, some speculate that the opposition party may again stage a military coup or partner with the judiciary to bar Pheu Thai politicians from assuming office. An ousted Yingluck may be able to continue leading half of the nation from Chiang Mai, the crux of her support network. Thailand’s south would be controlled by the opposition party, which has advocated for a suspension of democracy to allow for a council of selected politicians to reform the nation. The continuing political impasse between the two uncompromising parties places profound shortterm pressures upon Thailand’s economy, which depends significantly on a tourism industry accounting for 7.3% of its GDP15. Since a state of emergency was declared, 23 foreign governments have promptly issued warnings against traveling to Thailand. More crucially, the current disorder may underscore the fundamental cultural, ethnic, linguistic and social differences between the South and North. What was once a unified land of smiles risks collapsing into a divided nation of frowns.
14 Hookway, James. “Thailand Opposition Democrat Party to Boycott Elections.” Online.wsj.com. The Wall Street Journal, 21 Dec. 2013. Web. 26 Jan. 2014. 15 Cripps, Karla. “Bangkok Protests: Updated Info for Tourists.” CNN. Cable News Network, 22 Jan. 2014. Web. 26 Jan. 2014.
Sham or reality?
Myanmar’s pursuit for democracy Jacqueline Yip 2014 stands as a decisive year for Myanmese politics. It appears that the latest fashion for dictators is to appear as democratic as possible1. With Russia’s ‘faux-democracy’ under Putin, it is a trend evident in both the East and the West2. The key question to ask for 2014 is whether Myanmar’s rulers will jump on the bandwagon and whether the United States will join in the pretence if it follows this path. This is a significant issue for both the region and its international counterparts because of the struggles Myanmar has faced and continues to face in order to attain freedoms for its peoples. Will the regime choose to struggle for true democracy? Or will it put up a façade? The country is set to hold a full election in 2015, which has the potential as a milestone for the country to change the lives of millions, to push for economic development and illustrate the power of democratic reforms. However, all will bear little meaning unless the nation’s constitution undergoes the necessary change in 2014. Myanmar’s constitution bars those whose children have foreign citizenship from becoming President. The provision was almost certainly a deliberate attempt to block Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s most popular politician and freedom fighter, from seeking presidency as her children hold British citizenship. The existing 1 “Pivotal Year for Burma Politics | The Journal Gazette.” Http://www.journalgazette. net/. Washington Post, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 19 Jan. 2014. 2 Cranenbroek, Pieter. “Putin: The Great “Democratic” Dictator.” The London Economic. The London Economic, 4 Nov. 2013. Web. 19 Jan. 2014.
constitution also preserves the military’s untouchable status, an aspect incompatible with true democracy.
Votes are being counted in a polling station in Rangoon. Felix Schwarz, 1 April 2012. Myanmar, still recognized as Burma in many countries including the United Kingdom, was ruled by a repressive military regime that had in the past, led to its isolation from the rest of the world. Economic sanctions imposed by both the EU and the US has kept Myanmar’s economy largely stagnant and its considerable reserve of natural energy resources, untapped. Recent liberalization, recognized by US President Obama during his visit to the country in May and November 2013, has culminated in the beginning of ambitious oil and gas exploration. Myanmar’s significant reserves of both resources are enough to potentially place it amongst the world’s top energy producers. Whilst American companies have been aggressively bidding for the rights to develop Myanmar’s promising energy resources, others are adopting a much more cautious stance3. Many 3 MIT Technology Review. “Oil Booms In Myanmar Despite Political Challenges.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 07 Jan. 2014. Web. 19 Jan. 2014.
worry that the contracts will mainly serve to enrich only the country’s elite. Human rights activists are concerned that tribal and religious tensions, which 2014 stands as a decisive year for Myanmese politics. It appears that the latest fashion for dictators is to appear as democratic as possible4. With Russia’s ‘faux-democracy’ under Putin, it is a trend evident in both the East and the West5. The key question to ask for 2014 is whether Myanmar’s rulers will jump on the bandwagon and whether the United States will join in the pretence if it follows this path. This is a significant issue for both the region and its international counterparts because of the struggles Myanmar has faced and continues to face in order to attain freedoms for its peoples. Will the regime choose to struggle for true democracy? Or will it put up a façade? The country is set to hold a full election in 2015, which has the potential as a milestone for the country to change the lives of millions, to push for economic development and illustrate the power of democratic reforms. However, all will bear little meaning unless the nation’s constitution undergoes the necessary change in 2014. Myanmar’s constitution bars those whose children have foreign citizenship from becoming President. The provision was almost certainly a deliberate 4 “Pivotal Year for Burma Politics | The Journal Gazette.” Http://www.journalgazette. net/. Washington Post, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 19 Jan. 2014. 5 Cranenbroek, Pieter. “Putin: The Great “Democratic” Dictator.” The London Economic. The London Economic, 4 Nov. 2013. Web. 19 Jan. 2014.
09 | Economics and Politics
attempt to block Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s most popular politician and freedom fighter, from seeking presidency as her children hold British citizenship. The existing constitution also preserves the military’s untouchable status, an aspect incompatible with true democracy. Myanmar, still recognized as Burma in many countries including the United Kingdom, was ruled by a repressive military regime that had in the past, led to its isolation from the rest of the world. Economic sanctions imposed by both the EU and the US has kept Myanmar’s economy largely stagnant and its considerable reserve of natural energy resources, untapped. Recent liberalization, recognized by US President Obama during his visit to the country in May and November 2013, has culminated in the beginning of ambitious oil and gas exploration. Myanmar’s significant reserves of both resources are enough to potentially place it amongst the world’s top energy producers. Whilst American companies have been aggressively bidding for the rights to develop Myanmar’s promising energy resources, others are adopting a much more cautious stance6. Many worry that the contracts will mainly serve to enrich only the country’s elite. Human rights activists are concerned that tribal and religious tensions, which have had a notoriously violent tendency, will be exacerbated by heightened economic dispariaties between the groups. Another complicating factor is Aung San Suu Kyi’s insistence on keeping most of the country’s resources for domestic use rather than for export. Not all countries have the same enthusiasm for increasing their trade with Myanmar and many are awaiting more signs that the commitment to democracy is genuine. Thus, the government’s decision on constitutional reform 6 MIT Technology Review. “Oil Booms In Myanmar Despite Political Challenges.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 07 Jan. 2014. Web. 19 Jan. 2014.
of presidential eligibility and the outcome of the 2015 elections hold much influence on not only the political but also the economic future of the country.
Photography by WIlliam Murphy. Over the past three years, remarkable progress has been made towards democracy. Hundreds of political prisoners, including Suu Kyi, have been released. President Thein Sein’s administration has committed to political dialogue with ethnic armed groups and the press is now largely free from censorship. Earlier in 2013, Myanmar’s parliament established a committee to review the much-criticized constitution. The current constitution maintains the centrality of Myanmar’s military in politics. In fact, one in four seats remain reserved for unelected military officers who hold veto power over constitutional change7. In addition, ethnic minorities are also denied the right to determine even their most basic affairs. Such structural factors are incongruous with true democracy and are profound obstacles in Myanmar’s path towards political change. Whether Mynmar’s efforts towards democracy are mere pretenses or result in real changes 7 Bercow, John. “Until Aung San Suu Kyi Can Run for President, Burma Is No Democracy.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 16 Jan. 2014. Web. 17 Jan. 2014.
centers on Aung San Suu Kyi’s ability to secure the country’s presidency. A basic tenet of any democracy is that the political leader with the greatest popular support should have the right to claim the mantle of a democratic nation. This is a view shared by British PM, David Cameron, who noted that Myanmar’s elections would lack meaning without enforcing the necessary changes in the political system to allow for such an accession. Parliamentary speaker Thura U Shwe Mann has publicly declared his support for ammending the presidential eligibility clause in Myanmar’s constitution. As the USDP chairman, he is likely to be Suu Kyi’s main rival in 2015 and his support demonstrates his desire to compete on a level playing field. Unfortunately this is not enough. For constitutional change to kick off, approval must be given by the military, which holds a decisive veto power. Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s decision remains pivotal in this decision but he has yet to publicly comment on constitutional reform. The growing transparency of today’s media and the spotlight on Aung San Suu Kyi mean that the Myanmar military can do little to evade its responsibilities. If it chooses to hinder constitutional amendments, the world will demand answers and explanations. President Thein Sein declared that he “would not want restrictions being imposed on the right of any citizen to become leader of the country8”. His readiness to welcome change has yet to materialize in concrete action and with it the credibility of his own reform process lies at stake. The world awaits for Myanmar’s next move.
8 France-Presse, Afence. “Myanmar president Thein Sein backs constitutional amendment.” http://www.scmp.com/. South China Morning Post, 02 Feb 2014. Web. 02 Feb 2014.
Time to pop the sake? The future of abenomics Clarissa Luk For the past decade, China has dominated economics in Asia. With sky-high growth and investment rates, as well as a booming, affluent middle class, the attention around China is undoubtedly justified. However, recently more and more notice has been taken of China’s similarly flourishing neighbors: Korea, India and Japan. Japan, in particular, has undergone increased scrutiny since Shinzo Abe emerged as Prime Minister and subsequently introduced radical economic policies coined “Abenomics”. “Abenomics” was designed to revive Japan’s economy, which has been stagnant for the past 20 years. The goals behind the policies are notably ambitious. Abe aims to achieve an average growth of 2% in real GDP and increase per capita Gross National Income by over 1.5 million yen in the next 10 years1. The government also plans to promote private capital investment in public works and exports of infrastructure systems. Moreover, there are plans to cut the government deficit by half through restructuring and reforming the fiscal system and government hierarchy. Overall, the policy approach has three sections: monetary stimulus, government spending and structural reforms. “Abenomics” was touted by some as a great policy for the country. And in some respects, it has indeed met and even exceeded expectations. Businesses have flourished since the implementation of “Abenomics” 1 Harner, Stephen. “All You Need To Know About ‘Abenomics’” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 14 June 2013. Web. 07 Feb. 2014.
and the first two quarters of 2013 saw 4% of annualized growth 2 , exceeding the original target. In line with this, surveys show that Japanese companies remain eager to invest. Planned capital expenditures total $250.4 billion dollars3, growing by 13% since the start of 2013. The value of the yen has also depreciated, making Japanese goods and exports more competitive in foreign markets4. All this has the added bonus of making domestic consumers optimistic about the future. And when domestic consumers are happy, the economy, too, is happy due to their increased spending. Consumer confidence has risen significantly since Abe initially took office.
But it is not all sunshine and rainbows in the land of the rising sun. Prime Minister Abe wishes to push forward with plans to raise consumption tax to 8% this coming year, with projected hikes to take it up to 10% by 20155. There is discontentment brewing with this imminent hike. For one thing, many Japanese households may not be able to afford the jump. Although the unemployment rate has been decreasing, so has base wages. The reason for this is that labor productivity in general has stagnated. This has a lot to do with the hiring system in Japan, which protects permanent workers from dismissal whilst withholding better pay and job stability to temporary or part time workers.
2 “GDP Growth (annual %).” Data. The World Bank, n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014. 3 “Corporate Japan Plans Big Jump in Capital Spending.” MarketWatch. N.p., 1 Dec. 2013. Web. 07 Feb. 2014. 4 Harner, Stephen. “Japanese Megabanks And Abenomics: Worries Ahead.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 21 Nov. 2013. Web. 07 Feb. 2014.
There are many who insist that labor market reform is the answer to shrinking the deficit, as opposed to increased taxes that many can 5 “Abenomics Is Undermined by a Consumption Tax.” The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 1 Oct. 2013. Web. 07 Feb. 2014.
11 | Economics and Politics
ill afford. These critics also cite the tax increase of 1997, whereby the economy boomed as consumers rushed to buy items before prices went up, only to hit a huge slump once the tax was imposed6. Politics are also increasingly coming into play. Abe’s approval rating has nosedived in recent months, plunging by 10%7. The main reason for public disapproval
6 “Taxing Times.” The Economist. The Economist Newspaper, 5 Oct. 2003. Web. 07 Feb. 2014. 7 Sekiguchi, Toko. “Abe’s Support Drops Sharply in Japan.” The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 9 Dec. 2013. Web. 07 Feb. 2014.
was the passing of a controversial bill that sets stricter penalties for intelligence breaches-a bill that many feel represents government overreach and the erosion of personal liberty. The prime minster’s focus on Japan’s military and political alliances, in addition to its dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands, is also seen in a negative light as the population feels Abe should concentrate more on the domestic economy. Abe, more than ever, needs a high approval rating in order to pass his economic reform bills more efficiently and quickly. He, of all
people, should know this after stepping down from his first stint as prime minister in 2007 due to low approval ratings. The jury is still out on whether Abenomics will succeed in pulling Japan out of its economic malaise. Nonetheless, there are significant challenges Abe must overcome if he is to succeed – from reconsidering which reforms to focus on, to regaining public support. If he can, perhaps Japan will once again rise to be a global power. Perhaps, even enough to significantly rival China.
Asia and the World:
The effect of Tapering on the Planet’s Economic Drivers Adrian Kwan “Tapering” is a term so commonly seen in financial news that it is hard to believe that it was only recently ingrained into the minds of people. In May 2013, Ben Bernanke, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve (Fed) stated, “If we see continued improvement and we have confidence that that’s going to be sustained then we could in the next few meetings ... take a step down in our pace of purchases.1” In other words, the 1 Kenny, Thomas. “An Explanation of Fed
Fed may taper - or reduce - the size of its bond-buying program known as Quantitative Easing (QE) later in the year. However the Fed did not clearly outline when it would initiate the taper and how much it would taper by - leaving the future uncertain and open to speculation. QE was initially introduced in 2008 as a response to the financial
crisis by the Fed to stimulate the economy by purchasing US$ 85 billion of bonds every month. During the period when the taper was announced, many Asian countries relied on the bondbuying program for capital inflows to generate economic growth, with approximately 20 per cent of Asian exports going to the US2. A reduction in QE meant fewer
Tapering and Its Impact on the Markets.” About.com Bonds. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.
2 Chan, Paul. “What Does US Tapering Mean for Asia?” Invesco US RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.
capital inflows, possibly leading to less activity in the market. The news came as a surprise and a big shock to Asian governments, especially those of emerging markets. Asia is a region that has seen a lot of cash inflow in recent years alongside low policy rates and loose monetary policies. The news of tapering - and hence the likelihood of destablization - sent shockwaves around the Asian markets3. A heavy sell-off in Asian currencies and stocks occurred as a result, giving investors a reason to believe that tapering had a significant impact on the markets. Emerging economies were affected the most - especially those with a high current account deficit, high ratio of external borrowings to reserves and weak public finances. This led to a loss in investor confidence, which was represented by a fall in various stock indexes such as the Nikkei 255 Stock Average (-9.7 per cent in June), the MSCI Emerging Markets index (-6.9 per cent in June) and the S&P 500 (-5.8 per cent in June)4.
Some of the main fears that investors had were prompted from the high number of emerging markets within Asia that relied on QE. The stimulus programme allowed for large sums of money to be invested in Asian markets as they offered high returns.. However, the prospect of tapering implied increased interest rates on US bonds which caused investors to pull their money out of emerging markets. Emerging market currencies, as a result, depreciated against the US dollar5. Bernanke followed up on this issue during a press conference, stating that while the QE policy will remain at US$85 billion, it is dependant on incoming data. Based on the rate at which the US economy was improving at that time, analysts predicted that Bernanke would initiate the taper before the end of 2013 with the entire program ending by the end of 20146. In response to the press conference, markets expected the
to stabilize and prepare for the taper8. Additionally, US payrolls in August were weaker than what economists had expected, and the markets expected that even if tapering were to begin it would only be a modest amount at best. These factors, combined with the amount of preparation time each country had before September (approximately four months), allowed for the days preceding the meeting to flow smoothly. According to exchange data, global funds injected US$ 5.7 billion into the Indian, Indonesian, Filipino, South Korean, Taiwanese and Thai stock markets in September. This was done in preparation for the taper and to help bolster the Asian emerging markets in case the taper did occur. Fortunately, the taper did not initiate in September for a few reasons: 1) low inflation and high unemployment rates; 2) the fiscal uncertainty resulting from the on-going US government shut-down at that time; 3) the potential spike in interest rates
Graph showing the performance of the Nikkei 255 Stock Average, Source: Bloomberg 3 Kusama, Barry. “Here’s How QE Tapering Could Hurt Asia.” CNBC.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013 4 Kennedy, Simon. “Fed Taper Fear Stalks World Financial Markets: Cutting Research.” Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.
taper to begin in September 2013.7 However, unlike what happened in May, countries were given time 5 6 7
Kennedy, op. cit. Kennedy, op. cit. Kennedy, op. cit.
that would have arose from a negative demand shock. The Fed also reduced its forecasted growth 8 Perkowski, Katherine. “WBP Online Fed’s ‘tapering’ Effect: QE Withdrawal a Threat to Emerging Asia.” WBP Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.
13 | Economics and Politics
to US$ 75 billion per month with a reduction of US$ 5 billion in purchases of mortgage bonds and Treasury bonds from US$ 40 billion to US$ 35 billion per month and US$ 45 billion to US$ 40 billion per month respectively, with a gradual decrease to zero by the end of 2014.(Kenny, op. cit.) The Fed also announced that it plans to maintain low interest rates until the unemployment rate fell to 6.5 per cent1.
The response in Asia was positive. Contrasting their position in May, Asian policy makers were much better prepared when the news hit on December 18. Perry Warjiyo,
deputy governor at the Bank of Indonesia, said that the taper was a “welcome decision” and that the amount tapered was “slightly less than expected”. He emphasised that the taper “provided more clarity to the direction of the Fed monetary policy. That will be positive for financial market stability, including rupiah stability, going forward.” Finance Minister Hyun Oh-Seok of South Korea said, “the tapering of quantitative easing has already been factored into the markets and also has a positive aspect of reducing uncertainties and indicating U.S. economic recovery.” The announcement shows to the world economy that Asia can stand its ground against the tapering effects and that the U.S. economic situation is improving. Eddie Yue, Acting Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, has stated that the carefully measured taper is actually “good for emerging markets.” He emphasised that the longer ultra-low interest rates and quantitative easing remains, the higher the risks of inflation or asset price bubbles in emerging markets as it is impossible for the Fed to sustain its QE program forever. Other Asian countries responded similarly, with various representatives saying that the taper was within expectations and that they had sufficient time to prepare. The Fed has cleverly allowed the market to adjust to the prospect of tapering and, after considering the status of the U.S. economy, has come up with a satisfactory taper amount. However, although the Fed’s initial plan was to taper at every subsequent meeting, the Fed will closely monitor the U.S. economy for any volatile movements4.
1 “Press Release.” FRB: --Federal Reserve Issues FOMC Statement--December 18, 2013. N.p., 18 Dec. 2013. Web. 29 Dec. 2013. 2 Elliott, Larry. “Federal Reserve Starts Taper – and Avoids Wall Street Bloodbath.” Theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media, 20 Dec. 2013. Web. 29 Dec. 2013. 3 Bost, Callie, and Whitney Kisling. “S&P 500 Surges to Record as Treasuries Retreat After Fed.” Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, 18 Dec. 2013. Web. 29 Dec. 2013
4 Arnold, Michael S. “The Wall Street Journal.” Real Time Economics RSS. N.p., 18 Dec. 2013. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.
Why did the Fed initiate the taper in December 2013? There are three main reasons: 1) Economic data at that time showed that consumption, job creation and growth for the US was the strongest out of all G7 countries; 2) Officials in the Fed started questioning the usefulness of QE in reviving and stimulating the economy; 3) Bernanke wanted to leave behind a legacy in which he could say that he was the person who initiated the taper before handing over to the new, current chair, Janet Yellen2. Markets responded favorably to the taper announcement with the S&P 500 up 27 per cent in 2013, the highest ever since its 31 per cent increment in 1997. Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 255 Stock Average increased by 4.2 per cent to 15,895 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange after closing at 15,590 on December 18 and futures on the Kospi Index in South Korea rose 0.9 per cent in their most recent trading session on the day3.
Firm Analysis: Slaughter & May Christine Skrbic Culture Collegiality - Slaughter and May is the only magic circle firm that does not impose billable hours targets. This encourages collaboration and maintains the focus on quality clients and work. Excellence - The firm emphasises a high standard of work and attention to detail. The firm focuses on groundbreaking, innovative and high profile work. Values Client Focus - The firm prioritises understanding and anticipating the needs of clients and delivering the optimal service to clients. Corporate Responsibility - Slaughter and May has a long history of pro bono work and volunteers in schools and charities. Diversity - The firm is committed to equal opportunity and diversity. Practice Areas Corporate and Financing - The multi-specialist approach enables solicitors working in these practice areas to gain experience in the full range of transactions practiced by the departments. Other Areas - Slaughter and May is a full service firm practicing multiple other areas of law including Dispute Resolution, Real Estate, Competition, Tax and IP. International Offices - Slaughter and May has offices in London, Hong Kong, Beijing and Brussels. The firm recruits trainees in the London and Hong Kong offices. Best Friends’ - The firm works with local leading firms across the world through the ‘Best Friends’ network, enabling clients to benefit from local knowledge and experience. Recent Transactions Vodafone - on an agreement to dispose of its US Group, which holds a 45% interest in Verizon Wireless, to its joint venture partner Verizon Communications for a total consideration of £84 billion. Thomas Cooke - on its £1.6 billion capital refinancing plan. Ocado - on an agreement to licence services to Morrisons to enable the supermarket to launch its online grocery business.
15 | Law
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Women in Law â€“ Opportunities and Challenges of the 21st Century Andrea Kan The workplace has always been a setting traditionally reserved for men. Women were squarely casted in the role of homemaker and mother, and were wholly dependent on their breadwinning husbands. However, the tides have since turned. Women who are intelligent, independent and successful are no longer frowned upon by society; they are taking front seat roles in their career fields and capably creating, leading and changing the environments in which they thrive. Now, in the workplace, firms that do not make sufficient grand statements about upholding the principles of gender diversity and equality are even seen to be falling behind their more liberal and progressive counterparts. Over the Christmas holidays I had the honor of interviewing three
female lawyers, each a leading executive in their respective field of law in Hong Kong. Ms. Fanny Wong, Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions in Hong Kong; Ms. Angela Ho, a specialist in corporate finance, restructuring and commercial cases and both the founder of and a partner at Angela Ho & Associates; and Ms. Charmaine Koo, a partner at Deacons who specializes in intellectual property litigation. Each of these renowned lawyers observes a general upward trend for women in law in terms of sheer number, career opportunities and work recognition. Although some of the challenges women have inherently faced remain, these are no longer indomitable obstacles. According to a study by Mckinsey & Company, the proportion of women holding high-ranking
positions in Asia is much smaller that in Europe and North America. The average proportion of female to male representatives on boards / executive committees in Asia is 7 per cent, as opposed to the European average of 13.5 per cent1 and North American average of per cent. Although the number of female graduates and women at entry-level positions has increased (currently at an average of 50%), women still do not have much of a foothold in high-ranking positions.2 Future prospects in the Hong Kong legal industry specifically, however, are a lot more optimistic. There are currently more men at 1 Sussmuth-Dyckerhoff, Claudia, Jin Wang, and Josephine Chen. Women Matter: An Asian Perspective. Rep. N.p.: McKinsey &, 2012. Print. 2 Sussmuth-Dyckerhoff, Claudia, Jin Wang, and Josephine Chen. Women Matter: An Asian Perspective. Rep. N.p.: McKinsey &, 2012. Print.
partnership level (an estimated average of 65%) than women at most HK offices. However, this number being merely an average implies that there are exceptions – for instance, women account for roughly 50% of partners at Deacons, an HK-based firm. Women are also well represented in the public sector, where more favorable working conditions allow women to stay in their jobs easily and for a longer period of time. Interestingly, there are many more women (an estimated average of 70%) than men entering law school and hence more women than men holding entry-level positions at firms. Although this trend is a recent phenomenon, it is likely that there will be greater female representation as these groups of women climbs up the corporate ladder. The starting gender ratio is already so lopsided in favor of women that men simply can no longer dominate. Why are there so many more women pursuing a career in law than men? Historically, the reason lies in the result of the landmark case Equal Opportunities Commission v. Director of Education (2001)3. Prior to its introduction, the results of local students taking secondary school entrance exams were evaluated based on gender, in which girls tended to score higher on such exams and hence would have been overrepresented at Hong Kong’s elite schools. Ironically, girls were then discriminated against for the purpose of countering the inherent gender bias presented by the entrance exam. The High Court ruled in favor of the EOC, and the subsequent increase in number of girls at elite secondary schools has given young women a greater opportunity to pursue a competitive degree course in university. Ms. Ho believes many young 3 “Equal Opportunities Commission v. Director of Education, No. 1555 of 2000.” ECSR-Net. ESCR-Net, n.d. Web. 03 Jan. 2014.
women choose a career path in law in particular because they have qualities that are better suited to the legal profession than those of men. Girls are conventionally inclined to humanities-based subjects, which require critical thinking, analytical reasoning and strong all-round language abilities, all of which are essential legal skills. Girls are also scientifically proven to mature faster than their sameaged male peers, and are perhaps more able to appreciate the benefits of pursuing a professional degree and willing to take on such a demanding course. It is this influx of female lawyers that enhances the opportunities available for women. The sheer increase in numbers forces those who believe female lawyers are weaker – physically, emotionally and intellectually – than their male counterparts to overcome their biases and accept the fact that times have changed. Ms. Wong has observed that in the public sector criminals are more willing to allow women to represent them in court while clients in the private sector are placing equal trust in female lawyers to not balk under pressure and get the job done. Such changes in attitude significantly benefit any starting female lawyer, whose career development depends on the client relationships she builds up from the start. The greater the opportunity to bond with a client, the greater the likelihood of retaining business from with a client. Ms. Ho, a past President of the Hong Kong Federation of Women Lawyers (HKFWL), has also noted that there is a greater sense of fraternity among female lawyers. When the HKFWL was founded 30 years ago, there were only 15 members; now there are many more who can share, sympathize and support any female lawyer in need. Career women, however, continue to face gender stereotypes and biases in the office, where women are perceived to be less dedicated
to their work than their male counterparts. This perception, as Ms. Koo has noticed, may lead to women receiving less recognition for their equally outstanding work. Women are also characterized as soft, gentle and nurturing and any departure from such a stereotype – often necessary in the highly competitive and pressurized workplace environment – will likely be viewed negatively. For example, a man who questions the instructions of his superiors would likely be described as confident or proactive while a woman who does the same would likely be described as aggressive. To advocate themselves in an environment that inherently favors men, many women simply work very hard. Pushing oneself beyond one’s limit, as Ms. Ho observed, is the best way to prove one’s capabilities and stand out among the crowd. In this respect, the challenge is not what others impose on women but what they impose on themselves. All three interviewees believe that one of the greatest obstacles facing any career woman is the ability to balancing family and work. Some women choose (or are forced to choose) family over work when their children are born, though more are attempting to juggle both. Contributing factors to this trend include easy accessibility to and affordability of domestic help, and the relatively close proximity of office to home. Furthermore, as Ms. Wong has noted, the foundation years of any lawyer are the most difficult, after which workload becomes more regular and hours more predictable. Starting a family during the latter will both lessen the stress of balancing the two and ensure one can focus on her career at a time that arguably requires it the most – a time when her reputation is formed, client relationships are built and promotion to partnership is at stake. Regardless of when the balancing 19 | Law
act begins, the task is never easy. While her children were still young Ms. Ho worked two shifts every day and had only a couple hours of sleep every night for six years. An increase in number of law school graduates intensifies the competition among those in the workforce. Mothers who would prefer to work part-time or take a break from their careers during their children’s formative years must compete with junior-level lawyers willing to work for long
hours. The key, Ms. Koo believes, is to accept that less than perfect is good enough. It is impossible to dedicate the same amount of time and effort to both family and work, and it is important to not over overwork oneself but find a balance that fits the family context. There are women who have made it to the top, and many more women who are on their way. The recent decades have unleashed a multitude of career opportunities
in law, which many more women are beginning to embrace. The conventional challenges of simply being a woman at the workplace remain, but they are no longer unconquerable. Of course, there are many industries in many different countries in which, quoting Sheryl Sandberg, “men still run this world”. But that shouldn’t stop women from striving to be Jessica Pearson at their own Pearson Hardman.
Carpe Diem: An Interview with Gabriela Kennedy Peter Wat and Jacqueline Yip
Gabriela Kennedy is the newly appointed head of Asia Intellectual Property (IP) and Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Law in Mayer Brown JSM based in Hong Kong. She handles work ranging from litigation to licensing, strategic advice and portfolio management. Gabriela advises on data protection issues throughout Asia and specializes
particularly in business processing outsourcing, data compliance and data breaches. With the rapid and changing developments in technology, information technology law is a diverse and exciting field. Gabriela’s focus lies in areas including complex IT transactions and projects, IT outsourcing, cloud-computing, mobile payments, smart card projects and the regulation of encryption technology. Having advised some of the most prominent household names, Gabriela boasts a wide-ranging and illustrious experience within TMT law. Among her most eminent undertakings, she was involved in advising on high profile signal piracy litigation during two FIFA World Cups on behalf of cable operators, and litigation relating to ‘must-carry’ and re-transmission rights under the Copyright Ordinance. In addition, her devised strategy in enforcing court orders against company name hijackers is
widely adopted by legal practitioners across Hong Kong. Her progression from her roots as a theoretical linguist to becoming senior partner and finally head of IP & TMT law in one of the fastest growing markets, Gabriela Kennedy has much wisdom and insight to share on taking risks, change, and finding success. Gabriela Kennedy is currently the head of one of the fastest growing practice areas in one of the most rapidly growing regions at one of the most prestigious law firms in the world. Her career, however, was not all by design. Gabriela decided to come to Hong Kong in 1988 with her husband, who had received a job in her majesty’s service. Although Gabriela began her career in academia as a theoretical linguist, she eventually decided to change careers and become a lawyer after much consideration. There were two factors involved in her decision, one of circumstance
and one of compatibility. Firstly, when Gabriela came to Hong Kong, none of the universities had departments dedicated to theoretical linguistics. And secondly, Gabriela’s skill set was coincidentally compatible for a career in law. “Way back in the beginning, when I went and did my undergraduate studies I dithered between law and linguistics. Linguistics gave me the right background, it sort of equips you with an analytical mind, if you want, and my speciality was semantics. What better combination than to become a lawyer when you are actually paid “by the word and for the word”. Gabriela then undertook the CPE part-time in Hong Kong whilst teaching subjects ranging from art history to philosophy at various universities, before passing the PCLL in 1993. She described her choice to go into IP law as coincidental. “I did the PCLL at a time when it was pre-handover and all the law firms in Hong Kong were looking for Chinese speakers, and I didn’t speak Chinese. But I do speak five other languages… Hogan Lovells, then called Lovells, thought that I would make a good trainee for them because they had a lot of European clients who were coming to China and I could communicate with them in different European languages. [Lovells] were expanding their office at the time and they had just set up an IP group and I was one of the first two trainees, or the first batch of trainees, to sit in that group”. Gabriela, who has stayed in the IP group since then and continued to follow her passion for the arts, has never looked back. “I thought it was fantastic, I knew that that was the area for me. Way back I had aspirations to be a writer so I was very interested in writing myself so I delved a lot into copyright. If you look at what I am doing now you’ll see that a lot of work that I do revolves around copyright. I am involved with
World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Headquarters, Geneva
many arts organisations, media organisations, I do a lot of pro bono work with a particular focus on the arts so it all fits very nicely”. Gabriela Kennedy’s work in intellectual property law extends to her activity as a panellist in the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), where she works with international experts to settle domain name disputes. Her work covers Legal Rights Objections and Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedures and she has contributed to settling over a 100 decisions in a number of different languages. She also helps resolve domain name disputes at the Hong Kong International
Arbitration Centre and the Asian Domain Name Resolution Centre. In addition, Gabriela sits on an extensive and impressive list of boards and associations relating to her work. She is a board member of the International Institute of Communications (Hong Kong), ITechlaw, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology R&D Corporation and participates in the Council of Governors of the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia. Her involvement in trademark law can also be found with the International Trademark Association and the Hong Kong Institute of Trademark Practitioners. Gabriela cited writing as one of the reasons why she has 21 | Law
found IP law so fitting for her and she has continued this passion with her involvement as the Co-Chair of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival. Having previously aspired to be a writer herself, the area of copyright is an issue of great significance and interest to her. This has been exemplified in her pro-bono involvement with media and arts organisations. Beyond intellectual property and telecommunications, Gabriela also supports the promotion of equal opportunities in leadership roles. She currently serves as the president of the Hong Kong chapter of the International Women’s Forum, a non-profit group that works towards the advancement of leadership across careers and cultures. The forum provides strong resources, support and programs to cultivate the female leaders of the world. During the interview, Gabriela Kennedy also gave advice to students about to embark on their careers. An overarching theme in any contemporary job or career is change, and accordingly, mobility and adaptability are crucial. “I love change. That, in a sense is the modern person… this new generation of lawyers, your generation, are much more mobile,” she says. There was once a time when the norm was for individuals to spend their careers and lives doing one thing, but to Gabriela Kennedy, those days are gone. “Nowadays, in order to survive in the business world you have to be able to adapt and change your practice, because laws and circumstances change”. In addition, Gabriela stresses the need to be a leader and to have initiative. “You decide early on whether you want to be a leader or a follower… You have to be able to spot the opportunities to lead, even with very small things like calling a meeting because if you call a meeting you are in control”.
This, in turn, contributes to building a reputation, both within the firm and externally amongst an individual’s professional network. “When you are starting out, it takes time to build a reputation.” Gabriela Kennedy has built her reputation by taking part in change and expanding her professional network. Gabriela’s final piece of advice is to be constantly learning, even from mundane experiences. “If you cannot fill out a simple form as a trainee, you cannot give out instructions when you are a partner. To be proactive and to find that niche that you really love, do a lot of research into that area, read a lot… you have to get a buzz from what you do”. In a sense, Gabrela Kennedy’s own career path is a good anecdote, “My first couple of months in the job [at the IP group] I absolutely loved what I was doing and I couldn’t believe that the firm was paying me for it I would have done it for free.” Gabriela Kennedy is now head of Mayer Brown JSM’s Asia IP & TMT practice. After working at Hogan Lovells for 19 years, she described her recent move as the “right thing to do in terms of [her] career… I often joke, I was with Hogan Lovells from birth, and I say to my colleagues here that I am coming of age at Mayer Brown.” Gabriela also had some insight to share about taking on risk and responsibilities. Lawyers take risks everyday when they give out legal advice, and lawyers have to anticipate changes in the direction of the law and advise clients accordingly. There are big risks associated with the job because clients are relying heavily on a lawyer’s advice to run their businesses effectively. “Of course, as a lawyer, these are calculated risks,” Gabriela reassures. The risks and responsibilities faced by lawyers change as their careers progress. As they pick up new skills and absorb new knowledge, trainee solicitors
fortunately benefit from the safety net provided by supervisors overseeing their every move. The most frightening moment for Gabriela Kennedy happened immediately after she became qualified, and no longer had the luxury of a supervisor. Having to sign her name to her own work meant being fully accountable for her services. There is, however, a honeymoon period in which there is still a degree of supervision. “But 3 to 5 years in, much more is expected of you, and you are given much more responsibility,” says Gabriela. The next greatest change comes when an associate is made partner - which is an completely different role “because all of a sudden you have to consider the firm’s own business interests. When you were an associate you at least had a supervising partner to give you direction.” And finally, there is the position of senior partner, who has to give direction to junior partners. In Gabriela Kennedy’s words: “All of a sudden, there are these chicks with open beaks back at the nest and now you are responsible for bringing in the work!” Given the nature of these responsibilities, it is important for young lawyers to be experts in their fields, to actively build their reputations, to be adaptable and to take every opportunity to lead. A recurring theme in Gabriela Kennedy’s work, interests, and engagements is change and seizing the moment. She claims that fate and her quest to ‘chercher l’homme’ brought her to Hong Kong and Asia, where she has built her career and her family. Gabriela would nonetheless gladly pack her bags and go anywhere in the world if the opportunity called for it. This adaptability and excitement for change has brought her much success in finding her footing and success in a foreign continent and in the constantly changing business of IP and TMT law.
Davis Polk in Hong Kong Five Reasons. Preeminence Across the Board. A Global Experience. A Range of Opportunities. Exceptional and Diverse Colleagues. A Commitment to Career Development. To learn more about Davis Polk, visit www.davispolk.com/careers/hong-kong
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ÂŠ 2013 Davis Polk & Wardwell, Hong Kong Solicitors
Trends in 2013 Christine Skrbic
Financial Regulation Regional banks across Asia are facing tougher financial regulations as more stringent capital requirements and liquidity ratios are introduced in response to Basel III Accord, an international agreement to increase bank liquidity and decrease bank leverage. In China, the minimum adequacy ratio has been raised to 11.5% for systematically significant financial institutions. As not all regulators in Asia are enforcing the the Basel III benchmarks, locally parented banks operating across different markets must carefully balance adherence to their own country’s guidelines as well as the different requirements in the other markets they are operating in. To comply with the stricter financial regulations, banks have sought to boost their capital ratios. This is evident in China Merchants Bank Co Ltd’s recent success in receiving approval for an H-share rights issue, with approval to issue up to 680,423,172 oversees foreign rights shares of a value of RMB1.00 each. Many banks are also expanding through M&A. This is in an effort to extend their global reach, increase profits, diversify their products and reduce their costs. Such was the case with
Singaporean bank DBS, Southeast Asia’s largest bank by assets. DBS recently won Indonesian approval for the acquisition of up to 40% of Bank Danamon, Indonesia’s sixth largest bank. This was an acquisition motivated by DBS’s desire to expand its footprint in the fast-growing Southeast Asian market, particularly in Indonesia, the region’s largest economy. Increased Shadow Banking In response to more stringent financial regulations on traditional banks, there has been a proliferation of shadow banking to provide the credit and securities demanded by investors. In China, shadow banking has grown to comprise 1/3 of total financing. This demonstrates the importance of Chinese financial institutions’ off-balance sheet business in providing capital support for the world’s second largest economy. A robust rise in lending is evident, with overall new credit in China rising 9.7% to 17.29 trillion Yuan from 2011-2012. Lending by shadow banking institutions in particular rose 43% to 5.165 trillion Yuan from 2012-2013. By channelling loans to borrowers pursuing profit boosting projects, the increase in shadow banking could present a positive opportunity for growth in the wider Chinese economy.
In East Asia, traditional banking remains dominant in the formal financial sector, but nonbank financial intermediaries (institutions that do not hold a full banking license or are not supervised by either natioanl or international banking regulatory agencies) have provided shadow banking services in some regions. The non-bank financial intermediation sector in the Philippines and Thailand, in particular, holds more than 1/3 of both financial systems’ assets. In Malaysia the size of the shadow banking system is not formally recorded but it is estimated to amount to several hundred billions in loaned money. Shadow banking has however given rise to much concern. Lending by shadow bankers is forcing a build up of debt in China; making the financial system increasingly vulnerable and raising fears of an eventual slow down in growth analogous to that of Japan in the 1990s. As many loans are going to risky borrowers, such as local governments and real estate developers, there has been an alarming rise in debt owed by local governments, which has instigated off-balance vehicles to secure credit for development ventures.
Firm Analysis: A Comparative Analysis of Major Banks in Asia Clarissa Luk Lent Term is coming to an end. For many, this means five weeks of alternating between lying on the beach and despairing for exams. But for a lucky few, there are other things to worry about. Interviews. Assessment centers. The last barrier between you and that internship. How well you demonstrate what you know is what will get you that job. But first, you need to be prepared and actually know about the company. Below is a cheatsheet to get you started: Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Deutsche Bank AG
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
Llyod C Blankfein
James P Gorman
Juergen Fitschen / Anshuman Jain
Axel A Weber
New York City
New York City
Core Client Service Values
• • • •
Integrity Fair dealing Transparency Professional excellence Confidentiality Clarity Respect
Putting clients first Doing the Right thing Leading with exceptional ideas Giving Back
Integrity Sustainable Performance Client Centricity Innovation Discipline Partnership
Asset Management Commercial Banking Investment Banking Investment Management
Asset Management Commercial Banking Investment Banking Investment Management
Consumer Banking Corporate Banking Wealth Management Mortgage Loans
Services Provided ( not exhaustive)
• • • •
• • •
• • •
• • • •
• • •
• • •
• Dependable Open to different • ideas and cultures Connected to customers, communities, regulators and each other
Collaborative performance culture Feel valued
Consumer Banking Corporate Banking Wealth Management Mortgage Loans
Investment Banking Investment Management Private Banking Wealth Management
• • • •
25 | Banking
Frontier Markets – In Asia and Beyond Ryan Chiu
In the annual LSE Investment Banking Conference – the biggest and most prestigious event of its kind in the EMEA region – in November last year, conference organizers broke with tradition and departed from their usual focus on investment banking. Amongst the events in the remodeled agendaAmidst the investment banking dominated agenda During the remodelled event , Douglas Clayton, founder and CEO of Leopard Capital, came to speak instead about private equity in the world today. In recent decades, given their robust growth and untapped potential, ‘emerging markets’ such as the BRICS countries have been the talk of the town in financial circles. However, it seems that there may now be a new asset class which not only has considerable prospects but also a substantially positive social dimension. The
next big thing that the Wall Street Journal has described as “nextyear’s darlings in emerging market investing” is ‘frontier markets’ markets that by definition have a lower market capitalization than traditional ‘emerging’ markets. These are the smallest, least developed and comparatively more illiquid nations under the ‘emerging’ markets label – to which, inter alia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Romania and Botswana, belong. Frontier investing offers a promising marriage of a private equity fund’s profitability, social responsibility, and an alibi for closet globetrotters to travel the world. In the past, frontier markets were often characterized by political and infrastructural instability, corruption and lack of transparency, as well as low liquidity. For the most optimistic of investors, they were at best future
opportunities1. But with increasing globalization and transnational dependency, many of these frontier countries have begun creating sovereign wealth funds, which also form limited partnerships with private equity funds, and tech hubs that reduce a country’s reliance on commodities exports and attracts such fund managers as those of private equity firms. But some question why, even now, given the illiquidity and instability that plague these countries, the normally overlooked benefits of frontier markets, outweigh their patent disadvantages. Investment in frontier markets deserves merit for its potential to catalyze social progress, but the ultimate goal of a private equity fund must be to reap profit for its investors. Nonetheless, for the bold, such frontier markets - noted 1 Stevenson, David. ‘Funds Put Frontiers on The Map’. March 23, 2012. Financial Times. Web.
at 2012 to be trading on historically low valuations - represent not risk but opportunity. Firstly, following a decided improvement in their fiscal fundamentals, the trend has been such that frontier markets have become almost synonymous with low debt-toGDP ratios (generally below 50%), robust growth, and a lower correlation with (and therefore greater resilience towards the fluctuations of) advanced markets as compared to developing, or emerging, markets2. Secondly, these markets represent untapped potential, in every sense of the word. Often abundant with natural resources, the lucrative industry is in itself an attractive investment for ambitious funds3. On the other hand, the recent development of sovereign wealth funds (state-owned funds) has prompted hefty investments to stimulate the development of the technological, innovativeintensive, and knowledge-based services sectors4. This achieves two goals: the diversification of the market beyond commodity exportation, and the transition of a commodity and manufacturing based economy into one which relies more on the provision of information and services. Because these transitory processes are still in their embryonic stages, they represent promising opportunities for foreign investment and guidance, with iHub in Nairobi a textbook example of this rising phenomenon5. As advanced economies begin witnessing a marked fall their productive population (persons
2 Springer, Jon. ‘Opportunistic Private Equity, Leopard Capital in Asia’s Frontier Markets.’ January 19, 2014. Forbes Asia. 3 Gluckman, Ron. ‘Looking for Opportunity where Few Others invest.’ December 26, 2012. New York Times. 4 Guerrero Blanco, Tomas, Frontier Markets: Old Acquaintances, New Opportunities (September 27, 2013). The World Financial Review, September/October, 2013. 5 Guerrero Blanco, Tomas, Frontier Markets: A World of Opportunities (March 2013). ESADEgeo Position Paper No. 30.
between 15 and 64 year-old), frontier markets have seen the opposite trend6. Projections by Boston Consulting Group suggest frontier markets in Africa will have the greatest labor force halfway into the 21st century, overtaking Asia, and leaving Europe and North America behind. If the abundant resources, technological aspirations and the robust labor force are properly aligned, frontier markets will be able to maximize the economic resources invested in them – which will necessarily equate to greater investment returns. In addition to achieving greater economic growth, frontier markets have also witnessed increases in per capita wealth, which translates to more purchasing power and reinvigorated demand for consumer products in the domestic market. So the investment opportunities often targeted are those servicing the growing local consumer base, rather than multinationals. With a growing middle-class, basic necessities, luxuries and infrastructure are in greater demand – and fund managers are beginning to identify these hidden potentials and investing in firms which supply the goods7. Given the local scale of these firms, partnership also becomes easier, more hands-on, and efficient, as Douglas Clayton explains from his personal experience. Finally, being the first to secure a foot in a frontier market provides much freedom to firms and investors. Investors get to take their pick across such diverse industries as natural resources, electricity, banking, real estate, and foods – and dabble in all of them if they so wish. Within these industries, investors have the freedom to survey and choose the firms you think have the greatest potential and with which you may form
6 ‘Reuters interview Douglas Clayton about Leopard Cambodia Fund.’ March 13, 2011. Reuters, Youtube. Video. 7 Springer, op. cit.
the most compatible partnership. Kenneth Stevens suggests that his eagerness to branch quickly into other frontiers sooner rather than later is because it allows him ‘to tie up with the best partners in the country… and land better deals and better prices for assets.8’ A successful example can be found in Leopard Capital’s 2008 venture into Cambodia, which propped them onto the helm of frontier investing. Kenneth Stevens of Leopard took us through why and how Leopard Capital has managed to, from the birth of the Leopard Cambodia Fund, cultivate successful returns for both investors and the local populace. In describing his decision to break into Cambodia with his newly established private equity front, he explained why this unexplored region took his attention. With an open, free market economy that allows for one-hundred percent ownership of businesses by foreigners, Cambodia promises a FDI-friendly environment with minimal governmental interference9. It also boasts a young population: the average age is 21, so there is a productive and robust labor force seeking employment. The stable governance established by the fact that its current political party has ruled for three decades straight underpins its stability. This is matched by its legal system, which, compared to other frontiers, provides better recourse to foreigners if things go bad10. With steaming growth and a burgeoning middle-class, it becomes readily apparent that domestic consumer goods are underprovided. Armed with these relatively untested reasons, Leopard Capital nevertheless managed to secure a 34 million USD aggregate funding in the same year as the 2008 Wall Street crash – and immediately set about 8 Gluckman, op. cit. 9 ‘Reuters interview Douglas Clayton about Leopard Cambodia Fund.’ March 13, 2011. Reuters, Youtube. Video. 10 Gluckman, op. cit.
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working on it11. Cultivating a diverse portfolio, LCP has since made 14 investments in Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos in telecommunications, banking, microfinance, beer production, mineral water production, municipal water, power transmission, hydropower generation, and agriculture12. LCP has already concluded several successful exits, including the return of its 50% stake in the Kulara Water company, which it had helped grow from an initial idea to a major domestic supplier13. Kingdom Breweries, of which it is also a co-owner, was founded in 2010 and has already made its way beyond the local market and into France, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. Its investments in ACLEDA bank have also continued to yield double-digit profits, and LCP has begun expansion plans into neighbouring countries. Moreover, the local micro-finance firm in which LCP holds a stake recorded a near 10% increase in its loan portfolio in 2011 and continues to empower the agricultural sector14. To term their venture a success can only be the most adequate response. And yet the question that must remain is how they managed to maneuver through a political and economic landscape then untested by any other private equity firm. Kenneth Stevens offers shrewd advice which other investors looking to break into frontier markets may find useful. It is important to stay ‘agnostic’ to sectors, because the central nature of frontiers is their immense untapped potential. Leopard’s portfolio provides a sound testament to this principle - sectors ranging from agriculture and tourism, to finance and energy can all play a role in empowering a Fund’s investments as well as the local economy, and all have room 11 Leopard Capital Monthly Newsletter, Issue: 1. June 2008. 12 Leopard Capital Group Monthly Newsletter. April 2013. 13 Leopard Capital Monthly Newsletter, Issue: 2. June 2008. 14 ibid.
for progressive development15. The most important indicator of a successful investment and partnership is the quality of potentially investable companies. One of the most important reasons which convinced Leopard to make its debut in Cambodia were the attractive companies and partners which they thought would be beneficial to work with. To really ride on the growth of a country, a Fund must identify a company that not only has the long-term ambition of becoming a blue-chip, but which is also easy to work with, and understands to align interests between management and investors. And finally, it is important to enter early: in such frontiers, where stock markets and exacting regulations are not always existent, and where corruption and lethargy may pervade, it is important to join a local firm early on to incubate a culture of transparency and good management.
Founder and CEO of Leopard Capital, Douglas Clayton Riding on its success, Leopard Capital has since set up its Haiti Fund in 2012, also the first of its kind in the country, with funding from the World Bank, Netherlands Development Finance Company, and the Inter-American 15 Gluckman, op. cit.
Development Bank. Beyond investing in a portfolio of small and medium-sized local concerns, which are vital to job creation and recovery from the 2010 earthquake, the Fund has also made its flagship investment into a water kiosk venture which provides affordable, discounted, clean water to deprived neighborhoods in the country, creating hundreds of jobs along the way16. However, Leopard Capital is but one successful example. Frontier markets are, as a whole, still largely untapped, and for many investors, the risks posed may be greater than the returns they promise. What has been said regarding their low liquidity, relative instability, lack of transparency or legal recourse all still stand true. Those already investing in frontier markets make no pretense in saying that it can be a gamble, and that there are very material risks involved. It is therefore ultimately up to the investor to decide, on balance, whether or not to place their money in these regions. So how does this relate to any of us? Well, unless you are already in private equity, have solid connections, and are ambitious to break into the riskier, uncharted sectors of the global economy, then at best you are a spectator. But while today frontiers may seem niche, in a decade or so their potential is anyone’s guess. Frontier markets are definitely an asset class that will remain in the agendas of investors, and they are burgeoning. But will their growth continue until the day you, as a member of the new generation of investors, can travel the world and invest into these markets? Watch this space.
16 Leopard Capital Monthly Newsletter, Issue: 25. December 2011.
Peach Blossom Tea Latte
Starbucksâ€™s path to developing a global brand with local characteristics An interview with Marie Han Silloway Vivien Ruan practice in China and built out the Asia Pacific consumer practice where she advised clients in the US, Europe and Asia in organisational development, market entry strategies into China and talent acquisition. Ms. Silloway is currently the head of Marketing & Category for Starbucks China where she oversees the marketing, branding, big data analytics from a consumer insight perspective and the highly successful card loyalty program. Ms. Silloway also leads the digital marketing, food innovation, category management and marketing & Starbucksâ€™ handcrafted beverage category management, new product development, and field marketing. Marie Han Silloway is an international, consumer branding executive with over 20 years of experience in consumer products, mobile phone and talent acquisition industries. Raised in the US and educated in the US and in the UK, Ms. Silloway has held senior level marketing and general management roles with The Coca-Cola Company where she led retail channel marketing for the US and then continued to lead the Sprite brand into a number 1 market share position in China. At Siemens mobile China Ms. Silloway was brought on board to create a stronger retail marketing and customer driven model. Was Managing Director and Senior Client Partner, heading the Asia Pacific Consumer Practice with Korn/Ferry International Ms. Solloway launched the Consumer
Marketing 1. Why did you choose Marketing as a career? I studied communications in university and I was always fascinated by how brands compelled people to buy things they didnâ€™t realize they needed or wanted. I was always drawn to the human psyche and how those needs and wants played out in the choices they made. I started my career in advertising which was great but I quickly realized I wanted to drive the brand strategy and so when I was recruited by The Coca-Cola Company, it was my dream job. 2. Why Marketing in Starbucks in particular?
I love heading up the marketing & category department here at Starbucks because it has a broad remit and gives me the room to truly help the brand leave a strong legacy in China. In my current role, I oversee the marketing and branding, all of the categories from handcrafted coffee beverages, to the food products, loyalty program, gift cards and our merchandise assortment. I also oversee our NPD, consumer insights, big data analytics, our CRM program and digital marketing as well as development of new digital ventures. It is a challenging and hugely gratifying role. 3. What are the biggest challenges you face as a CMO? We always challenge ourselves to evolve and delight our customers in new and different ways and that takes have the right talent in our organization and having the right partners in our agencies and suppliers. We are growing so fast that our talent needs to learn on a pretty sharp trajectory and our external partners need to constantly evolve to be able to stay ahead of our curve. 4. What are the three most important qualities you need to succeed in the field of Marketing? A) Be prepared to make decisions without perfect data. Data is good but needs to be used in the right context- marketing is about understanding who your 29 | Alternative Industries
customers are; seeing things in a different light and as marketers we do need to infuse everything we do with the right amount of analytical rigor. However what I’ve learned over the years is not to get “paralysis by analysis” meaning data is important but it is not Gospel. You have to put it in context and use sound business judgment. I used to work at The Coca-Cola Company so I’ll use an example from my previous company. I’m sure you all remember New Coke. This was a project that was an incredible learning experience for the company. All the research said that people loved New Coke; they loved the way it tasted and that they would definitely buy it. But the results were very different. Our customers got upset, they were intensely loyal to the original Coke and because of this, the company brought back the original and called it Coke Classic. A great example of being humble and customer driven and not being afraid to course correct. It is also a great example of when & how to infuse your decision with sound business judgment. B) Develop an international perspective- it’s hard to be a creative, world class marketing leader if you haven’t traveled or experience new things. Marketing is about business results and strategy at its core but achieving those & creating emotional bonds with your customers in a creative, fresh and memorable way. If Howard Schultz had never visited Italy and their cafes, he may not have gotten the idea that this Italian coffee house within these communities with these incredibly profession baristas where people would gather every day, sometimes several times a day, could be a concept that would one day become Starbucks. It was because he saw a relevance of what these Italian coffee houses stood for and he passionately believed that Americans would embrace this concept. So travel, open yourself up to new experiences, learn to
play an instrument, conquer your biggest fear. Whatever you do, don’t stop because all this fuels the brain and the heart to inspire your creativity. C) Challenge the status quo- need I say more? What advice do you have for fresh university graduates who are seeking a career in Marketing? Pick a brand that you admire but be open minded about your first job you take there as long as it is close enough to what you’re looking to do. And then roll up your sleeves and be prepared to work hard to WOW everyone! Starbucks and China 1. China is often perceived as a tea-dominant market, what Marketing strategies have you adopted to attract Chinese consumers to the culture of drinking coffee? In China, our business strategy is to stay connected to our customers. Over the years our customers’ tastes and habits also have changed and we aim to always stay current and relevant through our product innovations and our marketing programs. For example, over the past 10 years, mobile internet usage has grown exponentially and so we have significantly increased our marketing on digital so that we can continue to engage with our fans in conversation every day. What is enduring and timeless, however is our single-minded focus on creating and delivering the authentic Starbucks coffeehouse experience that makes our customer feel special and that makes them want to keep coming back. 2. Starbucks is often associated as a comfortable place for friendly gatherings and work. The company is dedicated to become the “Third Place” to attract its consumers. How would you describe the connection between Starbucks
and the Chinese consumers? At Starbucks, we firmly believe that our geography footprint only tells one part of the Starbucks China Growth story. Ultimately, it is our single-minded focus to innovate and to deliver a unique and locallyrelevant Starbucks Experience for our customers. Starbucks’ deep respect for China’s long history and traditional culture can easily be seen in its efforts to provide a locally-relevant Starbucks Experience through its store designs and local food and beverage offerings. Recognizing that customers enjoy coming to Starbucks in large groups. We have a very different mix than in other markets because people like to come in for socializing, so we should have the right types of food for the afternoon coffee occasion, we should have the right seating, and the right community tables. We’re always looking at not just across China, but across the global and regional markets for inspiration. Now, Starbucks places great emphasis on innovation, personalized products and customer service to always delight and surprise our customers.
Beijing Qianmen store
Additionally, we strive to integrate aspects of local culture into our store designs. Our store in Fuzhou builds upon the local heritage of WeiQi and celebrates this in the design. Our Beijing Qianmen store is in an historical landmark and integrates the proud traditions of Beijing through featuring beautiful carved wood furniture and accents throughout the store. The terrace overlooks the pedestrian shopping street which used to be the actual outdoor market across the Forbidden City.
consumers, it has become a crucial channel for Starbucks to connect with our customers beyond our stores. So for us, we’re always looking at conversations and bringing people together- so we have a very active base on Weibo. On Sina Weibo, we are actually the number one food and beverage brand; we have the stickiest and most active fan base. And it’s not about pushing products- we talk about coffee, different types of coffee. There is
digital space for us. 4. What are your views on changes in coffee consumption patterns in the Chinese market? The China consumer is very sophisticated and loves to explore in their food and beverage repertoire. Over the past 14 years, we’ve seen the number of coffee drinkers increase steadily. However, what makes our customers keep coming back to Starbucks is really the Starbucks Experience. 5. China is one of the world’s most competitive markets for global brands. Therefore, innovation of both products and services become essential to satisfy demanding consumers. For example, in the UK, Orange Mocha at Starbucks is marketed as a seasonal, Christmasthemed beverage. Could you give examples of how innovation is applied in Starbucks with understanding of Chinese local traditions and customs?
Fuzhou Wushan store 3. What do you think makes Starbucks China different from its competitors in terms of Marketing? Starbucks believes a shared moment of genuine connection over a cup of coffee is a simple act that helps provide an uplifting part of someone’s day. We’re striving to provide a place, both a physical space and on the digital space, that fulfills the craving for human connection. As such, Starbucks has been committed to enhancing the moments of connection with our valued customers, our partners and the communities in which we operate, to delight and surprise them as part of their daily life, in many new ways. As new media is increasingly used by Chinese
a lot of engaging dialogue- and a lot of times, we take their lead a lot of times. The second thing is, looking at innovations. In China, we had some very exciting programs with WeChat linked to our launch of Refreshers. Back in September 2012 we launched a breakfast alarm app that created a lot of buzz- we have a magic Christmas store right now which is going on- so keeping it fun, engaging, and interesting. So with the magic wish store right now, there are QR codes assigned to our products, so all you have to do is scan it, then you can upload your wish to Weibo. So you can send your boss- ‘I really want this tumbler for Christmas’- but it’s a way to make it fun and engaging. So that’s the
At Starbucks, locally-relevant innovation sits at the core of everything we do to create a unique Starbucks Experience. We continuously challenge ourselves to better understand and connect with our customers every day and to add greater value, surprises and delight, to their Starbucks Experience. A series of Starbucks beverages, which was developed with the local taste preferences and palettes in mind, was born in this spirit and from the deep passion we have for our customers. The Starbucks dragon dumplings, Starbucks moon cakes, as well as many other beverages like the Chestnut Macchiato, Peach Blossom Tea Latte, are all the best demonstrations of Starbucks continuous efforts in staying relevant to local customers’ lives.
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6. How is Starbucks using technology to reach out to current and potential customers? We’re very proud that Starbucks has been a leader in using digital technologies to elevate consumer experiences in the US and many other overseas markets. Starbucks’ global digital innovations and our digital strategy are focused on re-igniting the connection with our customers, innovating in customer-relevant ways and enhancing their experience. As we sought to have authentic connections with our customers in new ways, Starbucks has been highly active in social and digital media – with Facebook, Twitter and My Starbucks Idea as well as expanding the Starbucks Card program into the digital space through new mobile experience and digital apps. This was a natural progression for Starbucks because in many ways, it allowed us to extend the conversations and experiences that started in our stores. Starbucks will continue to look into how we can extend the Starbucks’ global digital innovations and our digital strategy, thus adopting innovative digital technology to diversify and enrich customers’ experiences. For us it is a critical channel to nurture conversations with our customers. Some specific examples are below Back in 2012, when we were planning for the launch of the Refresha campaign, we started with an idea about brightening people’s day with a personalized song. People love Starbucks because they love the recognition & interaction they get from our baristas. When you walk into a Starbucks you’re not just buying a cup of coffee, you’re getting a whole experience that makes you feel refreshed to go about your day. So our idea was to use music &
WeChat to enhance that personal relationship our customers develop with our baristas. Recognizing that WeChat is an intimate channel for chatting with friends, when you add Starbucks on WeChat we don’t just push offers at you, we start a personal conversation. We ask our WeChat friends “how are you feeling today?” They reply with an emoticon, and we answer them with a song. We created different songs for each type of emoticon, to not just share product information, but to also surprise & delight our customers. And we gave them a video & link they could share onto Weibo. In terms of effectiveness, we added 270,000 friends on WeChat during the 4 week campaign, and sent over 427,000 songs to them. Since then our WeChat followers have grown to over 600,000, making it an increasingly important mobile touch point. WeChat “Fuli Test” - Starbucks launched two 2013 CNY beverages named Chestnut Macchiato and Peach Blossom Tea Latte. To incorporate with Chinese elements, Starbucks interacted with customers via “Fuli test” and other activities like “open red packet, get Starbucks luck”.
Peach Blossom Tea Latte WeChat “Personality Cartoon Test” - We recently launched two new 2013 spring beverages: the Apple Tea Latte and Valencia Macchiato. To build excitement for these new drinks, we engaged followers with WeChat-based cartoons and
personality tests that users can share with friends to win prizes. Last Christmas, we also launched a Digital Wish List. We have a very loyal fan base who love our specialty merchandise so last Christmas we created a fun and engaging way for you to send your friends/loved ones your wish list simply by scanning in a QR code for the item you wanted along with a message like “I love this polar bear tumbler boss!” This QR code would take your recipient (your boss in this case) to our promotion site so that they could see your message and decide if they wanted to surprise you with this gift. 7. What are your visions for Starbucks China in the next 10 years? At Starbucks, we want to bring people together one cup of coffee at a time. We believe that sharing conversations over a cup of coffee is a simple act that helps provide an uplifting part of someone’s day because it is a moment of genuine connection. Digital is so important to us because it is where we nurture conversations with our customers every day. Digital will continue to be a major communication platform for us because it is a unique channel which provides us the luxury of having one to one, two way conversations with our fans. And what our fans think is so important to us. We will continue to make investments in our partners and in our infrastructure such as our R&D, store development capabilities.
Firm Analysis: A Guide to the Worldâ€™s Top Consultancies Vivien Ruan
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The Great Race of the East: An Overview of the Competition in Asia’s Technology Industry Kelly Wong Time is of the essence in the field of technology. To survive in this fast-paced race to innovate, only the players who best understand and respond quickly to the market may dominate. The technology industry encompasses a number of main sectors, namely computer hardware; computer software and services; electronics; and Internet and telecommunications. This article will provide an overview of the performance of Asian technology companies in these sectors. International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is currently leading the pack in both the computer hardware and computer software and services sector. The firm intends to build data centers across the world to expand its global presence. In order to widen the scope of its cloud services and extend its customer base, IBM is
investing more than $1.2 billion in 15 new data centers located in regions including China, Hong Kong, Japan and India.1 Elsewhere, Intel has also announced plans to gradually shifts its focus from computer chips for PCs to developing data centers and ultra devices in a bid to target emerging economies and tap into Asia’s lucrative consumer market. Firms have competed fiercely with one another to gain a foothold within the electronics and telecommunications sectors in Asia. To differentiate itself from its competitors, Apple recently entered a partnership with China Mobile, China’s biggest wireless provider.2 The partnership will allow Apple to integrate its iPhone 1 Andrew Meola, ‘‘Why IBM (IBM) Is Rising Today’’, The Street, 17/01/2014 2 ’China’s biggest mobile firm launches Apple iPhone Sales’’, www.channelnewsasia.com, 17/01/2014
and other mobile devices into China Mobile’s 4G network, the fastest kind of telecommunication system that has been developed to date. Both partners are expected to gain significantly from this collaboration. It remains to be seen whether this partnership can reignite demand for Apple’s products, which have lately faced more lukewarm responses from Asian consumers. For the second year in a row, Samsung was Asia’s most popular brand in 2013, greatly surpassing Apple in the volume of smart phones sold over the year.3 In response to Samsung’s increasing dominance in the industry, Apple has attempted to bolster its leading position in the premium phone market, a market in which Samsung has a 3 Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani, “Samsung still Aisa’s Most Popular Brand, Beats Apple”, CNBC, 08/07/2013
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relatively more modest presence.4 Eric Openshaw, Vice chairman and U.S. Technology, Media & Telecommunications leader at Deloitte LLP, pointed out that there will be intense competition over the development of a third mobile operating platform to rival the existing iOS and Android platforms. The success of such a new platform will depend heavily upon the rates of adoption in key Asian markets such as that of China. Foreign tech companies looking to expand their profits have been eager to reach into the rapidly growing Asian markets. However, many have found themselves eclipsed by their local counterparts, which benefit from stronger brand recognition in domestic markets and more direct knowledge of local preferences. Google, for instance, is one such firm that has been struggling to make a mark in the Chinese market. Google’s venture into the Chinese market has been obstructed by the “Great Wall” that is Baidu, a Chinese search engine that currently holds 60% of the Chinese market share. Google’s efforts in South Korea have been similarly disappointing, with it’s feeble 2% share of the search engine market greatly overshadowed by domestic firm Naver’s monolithic 70% market share. There is nonetheless a beacon of hope hope for western firms looking to tap into the Asian market. Yahoo! has had great success in expanding its presence in Asia and currently attracts greater web traffic than Google in regions including Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and The Philippines. In addition to ranking number one in web traffic amongst search engines in Japan and Taiwan, Yahoo! also owns a 24% stake in Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant.5 4 Mark Rogowsky, “Hey Samsung, Don’t Look Back, Apple May Be Gaining On You”, Forbes, 11/06/2013 5 Pascal -Emmanuel Gobry, “The 10 Asian Tech Companies That Are Putting American Ones to Shame”, Business Insider,
Within the social networking and e-commerce world, domestic firms overall also seem to be leading in front of their foreign competitors. Although it currently has more than 350 million active users in Asia6, Facebook has been preempted from conquering the highly contested Chinese market. Although Facebook is currently legally banned within China, there have been talks of lifting the ban within the 17 squaremile free-trade zone (FTZ) within Shanghai.7 Even after the ban
is lifted, it remains to be seen whether Facebook can prevail over the listed domestic internet firm Tencent, which controls China’s largest social network, operates instant message service QQ and sells various virtual goods and computer games. Facebook’s efforts have been similarly undermined in Japan, where Japanese networking company Mixi has been able to retain a loyal following through its highly protective privacy settings. Facebook is not alone in its struggles. Linkedin has been left with nowhere to stand as the Chinese market has been all but
21/12/2010 6 Steven Millward, “Facebook now has 351 milion active users in Asia”, www.techinasia. com, 31/10/2013 7 Victoria Woollaston, “China lifts ban on Facebook - but only for people living in a 17 square mile area of Shanghai”, MailOnline, 25/09/2013
consumed by Chinese professional social networking firm Ushi. YouTube unfortunately ‘missed the boat’ when Chinese site Tudou went live and attracted a strong following before the former started building its own platform in China. eBay’s spirits have also been dampened by the oppressive presence of domestic e-commerce platforms Taobao and Rakuten in China and Japan, respectively. The concepts behind such foreign firms as Facebook and Youtube clearly work well in Asian markets,
as demonstrated by the huge popularity of domestic firms offering very similar services. To sustain their presence in such markets, foreign firms must look to increasingly innovative strategies to distinguish their products from those offered locally. For smart phones and other mobile devices, much of the Asian market remains untapped and demand will only continue to soar as household incomes rise. It is essential for foreign firms to gain an in-depth knowledge of Asian markets and learn from those who have already successfully established themselves in the region. The competition for power in the Asian technology industry and time will tell who will emerge as the new technological superpowers of the East.
The Indian Pharmaceutical Industry: Seizing the Opportunities Sidhant Gupta Globally, the pharmaceutical industry is at a watershed. As markets in developed economies mature, it is time for those in developing countries to take the lead and drive growth. Enter India, along with its BRIC counterparts Brazil, Russia and China.
as much as USD 70 billion by 20203, which gives rise to a CAGR of an astounding 17%. Compare this to the 13-14% CAGR the industry saw in the 2005-2009 period and 9% in the 2000-2005 period, and one sees the immense potential this industry has.4
As of 2011, the Indian pharmaceutical industry was valued at USD 15.6 billion1. However, according to a report published by McKinsey in 2010, the market may grow to USD 55 billion by 20202. PwC estimates put the figure at USD 48.8 billion by 2020 – close enough. This entails a compounded annual growth rate of almost 14.5%. If the industry follows an aggressive growth strategy, the market could reach
So far, growth in the industry has been driven by increasing income levels in the economy (due to relatively high economic growth rates), and an improving medical infrastructure. One can reasonably expect income levels to continue rising in India over the coming decades – PwC predicts that the percentage of the population with an income between $6,000-$30,000 will grow from 6% in 2009 in 46% in 2025.5 Additionally, there has been a surge in spending in healthcare. According to World Health Statistics published by the World Health Organization, government
1 “Market Opportunities,” PwC, accessed January 19, 2014, http://www.pwc.com/ gx/en/pharma-life-sciences/pharma2020/ market-opportunities-and-outlook.jhtml. 2 Vikas Bhadoria et al., India Pharma 2020: Propelling Access and Acceptance, Realising True Potential (McKinsey & Company, 2010), http://online.wsj. com/public/resources/documents/ McKinseyPharma2020ExecutiveSummary. pdf.
3 “Market Opportunities.” 4 Bhadoria et al., India Pharma 2020: Propelling Access and Acceptance, Realising True Potential. 5 “Market Opportunities.”
expenditure on healthcare as a percentage of its total expenditure has increased from 6.3% in 2002 to 8.1% in 2011. More tellingly, per capita expenditure on healthcare by the government has more than tripled in this period, increasing from $4.9 in 2002 to $18.3 in 2011. These figures are quite low when compared to countries such as China, where the figures for the two respective indices stand at 12.5% and $155.4 in 2011.6 And this will be a key reason why it is expected that the Indian market will continue to be valued lower than the Chinese market in 2020 (PwC estimates China’s value at USD 175.8 billion in 20207). Finally, patient awareness has been increasing, as have the number of people covered by medical insurance. For the Indian market, there will be 4 broad drivers of growth. First is 6 “WHO Western Pacific Region: China Statistics Summary (2002 - Present),” World Health Organization: Global Health Observatory Data Repository, n.d., http:// apps.who.int/gho/data/view.country.6400. 7 “Market Opportunities.”
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a continued increase in population size, which will likely lead to an increase in the patient pool. Second, the affordability of drugs will increase as income levels and number of people covered by insurance rise (private insurance is expected to grow at 15% annually, but government-provided insurance is expected to have a bigger impact by reaching out to the â€˜below poverty lineâ€™ income group). Third, accessibility to drugs will improve with developments in the medical infrastructure. This will be led by launches of new patented products, increased government
expenditure on healthcare, and the USD 200 billion being currently invested in the sector. Fourth and finally, with heightening patient awareness, there will also be greater acceptance of new medicines and therapies.8 There was a time when pharmaceutical companies would ask whether it was sensible to invest in India or not, whether they would see good returns on their investment, and whether it would develop into an important 8 Bhadoria et al., India Pharma 2020: Propelling Access and Acceptance, Realising True Potential.
market. Now, these companies ask very different questions: how should we invest in India to take advantage of the potential it shows, what investments should be made, where, and how should we go about it. India is no longer on the margins of the pharmaceutical industry, and it is easy to see why. It will become an incredibly influential market for every pharmaceutical industry, and it is up to companies to give themselves adequate exposure to this market so that they may benefit from it.
An Interview with Douglas Robinson Amy Lau Interviewee Bio It was the first working day of 2014 and I met Mr Robinson in the headquarter of the Hong Kong Jockey Club. We sat down for sushi inside a nice restaurant near
Causeway bay and I began the interview. Mr Robinson is currently a Research Manager for the Hong Kong Jockey Club, prior to joining the club, he worked as a M&A
Research Manager in Deloitte. 1. What do you do on a day-today basis? I usually start with reading the news. It takes about 45 minutes and I focus mainly on news about
news. It takes about 45 minutes and I focus mainly on news about developments in the gaming industry. Currently, my main responsibility is the training and development of junior staff. So I devise training programs to help them learn the skills they need for the job. I also review and edit work produced by junior analysts. Then there are a lot of meetings that I attend. We decide the best course of action among the managers and implement them in the best way possible. 2. Can you describe what you do in the research department? We uncover facts, figures and opinion with the ultimate aim to mitigate risk. We identify the area of the business that is at risk and we propose solutions to moderate that risk. My work ranges from doing financial analysis to very qualitative analysis. We look at financial reports but we also assess whether an employee is trustworthy or not. It is very diverse. People in the team don’t usually argue, but [when conflicts do arise] we always try to discuss and find common grounds. 3. Do you think research is an area that graduates should consider going into? If you are good at research, you will be indispensable to the executives of a firm. It is an important division in every company. But at the same time, it is not easy. If you like working through complex problems, you should go into research 4. Do you have some pointers on what skills are needed? Vigilance - identify the problem before it happens
Flexibility and tenacity – be tenacious in solving issues that seem unsolvable Creativity – think outside the box with your solutions Curiosity – read around and take interest in things around you Persuasiveness – learn the skills needed to convince others Read the news a lot! Read about anything and everything that you can get your hands on. 5. What is the culture of the Jockey Club? The Jockey Club is a great place to work. It is very professional with great benefits and friendly coworkers. I had no interest and knowledge in gambling before joining Jockey Club. But precisely because of this, I was hired, because my mind is always curious and fresh. 6. You were previously in the financial advisory division in Deloitte, can you tell us about your experience there? I was a M&A research manager. I helped the senior partners with their proposals and helped them run dual diligence on potential mergers. I also looked at changes in the regulatory landscape of different countries. Half of my job involved helping Deloitte sell itself to other companies and the other half involved assessing how Deloitte was performing in comparison to other companies.
China Investment Corporation. It was quite an honor to be in the presence of all those people. 8. Do you think graduates should join a small boutique firm or large renowned companies when they start their career? You are more likely to have personality clashes with your coworkers or your boss if you work in a smaller firm. But working for a large company can be a doubleedge sword. The tasks that you are given might be monotonous but you can benefit a lot from the training given at larger firms. So join a large firm when you start, but you can move to a smaller firm later on in your career. 9. Do you have any last pieces of advice for recent graduates? Don’t worry! In Hong Kong, especially, companies are looking for unique experiences and something different that you can offer. There will be a lot of other people who went through a two year training program but few would have built schools in Tanzania, for example. Don’t feel that you failed if you don’t make it into the graduate training program. Companies are increasingly looking for uniqueness in the people they hire.
7. Do you have any memorable moments from your time at Deloitte? I attended the World Economic Forum and listened to speeches by prominent speakers such as George Soros and Bill Gates. Prime ministers from over 20 countries attended and I chatted with the deputy head of the 39 | Alternative Industries
PETER HARRISON AD
An Interview with Georgina Chung Christie Mok
Interviewee Biography Georgina Chung is the director of “Deep Professional Branding and Learning”, a consultancy firm which offers coaching to clients to guide them through discovering, enhancing, embracing and progressing their professional personal brand. Georgina is a certified consultant of First Impressions UK’s Professional Image Programme and an Associate Trainer of M2 Image Consulting. In addition to facilitating courses on professional personal branding, Georgina has worked within corporate human resources since 1990. A Hong Kong native, Georgina has worked for multinational firms including Cathay Pacific, HSBC, Credit Suisse and DBS and is currently based in Singapore. I had the pleasure of interviewing Georgina to hear her thoughts on presenting oneself in the best light and succeeding in the internship application process. 1. This is a situation familiar to many of us. Suppose I have not done any preparation whatsoever and I now have one day before my interview tomorrow morning. What advice would you give as to what I should do with the limited time I have? Review the corporate profile and try to learn the organisation’s culture and core values. This will
give you: i) a good sense of their business, ii) as the applicant, an opportunity to assess the qualities of the people the organisation will
are continually being assessed by the interviewer but at the same time, you should also be assessing if the job and organisation are the right fit for yourself. 3. How do you write the perfect cover letter?
be looking for and your fit into the culture of the organisation, and iii) a chance to prepare your questions to ask at the interview. Before the interview, it is important to review your cover letter/application form and cv to refresh yourself on what you have written so that you will not appear to be “lost” at the interview. The MOST IMPORTANT THING of all is to rest well before your interview. 2. Can you list the most crucial mistakes that one should avoid during an interview? Instead of crucial mistakes to avoid, let’s look at the “Right Things To Do”. It is important to be “YOURSELF” at the interview. Listen carefully to the questions from the interviewer and answer concisely and to the point. Ask appropriate and sensible questions to find out more about the job and the organisation. Do not forget - you
There is no “PERFECT” letter... but a small tip is: to keep it short and sweet, concise with highlights of your career aspirations and what attracts you to apply for the organisation. Your CV is more important than the cover letter, given that most of the details will be captured in the CV or application form (don’t forget, corporates receive thousands or more applications for graduate positions.....the recruiters have limited time to read through all the details). 4. What are key elements that students should include in their CV? Your key achievements (both academic and non-academic), career aspirations and reasons for choosing the organisation. Again, a short and sweet CV is important, keeping it engaging and interesting so as to differentiate yours from the others. Leave the sharing of details at the interview. 5. How can students prepare for assessment centers? Knowing the organisation and its culture is crucial, it will help you assess the qualities/attributes the 41 | Culture and Thoughts
assessors will be looking for. When you are at the assessment centre, observe the group’s dynamics, listen attentively and share your views in an objective manner. Respect differences and be inclusive as collaboration is important in a team environment - it is also the top factor corporates will be looking for. 6. Firms regularly host presentations and networking events to give students a chance to gain insight into their businesses. What should students do to form a lasting impression and make the most out of these events? Be approachable and engaging network with people across different levels, i.e. not just the senior management but also your cohorts and the other representatives from the organisation. For the
organisation, this is the best way to observe the “real” character of a candidate in an informal setting while for the candidates, this is the best opportunity to find out more about the company (through talking to various people, you will be able to get better and different insights) 7. In your experience, have you noticed any significant differences in the expectations and requirements of recruiters across the various asian markets? For students who would like to work in the Asian markets, it is highly advisable to learn and understand the culture of the country and the organisation before their application and interviews. Culture can be less direct in some Asian markets. 8. What are the core qualities that applicants must have if they
wish to work successfully in a firm based in Asia? Different organisations may have their specific requirements. Collaboration is definitely a top core quality for almost all organisations. Resourcefulness and innovation are getting more important in today’s competitive environment. Being respectful and inclusive are critical with Asia becoming more cosmopolitan.
Anime 101 Kelly Wong Japanese animation is often referred to as anime, pronounced as ah-nee-may. During the 70s and 80s it was popularly coined Japanimation1. Anime plays a significant role in Asian culture. Even if you’re not an “otaku2”, a diehard fan of anime, you must have heard of Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z and Gundam Wing. If you happen to own some Digimon or Pokemon game cards, you must have had a pretty cool childhood. Unlike American animation, which mainly targets younger children, Japanese anime aims at a much wider audience. For example, the “shojo” and “shonen” collections appeal to young girls and young boys respectively3. On the other hand, the “seinen” manga mainly attracts young male viewers, while “josei” is aimed at young female viewers. The “kodomo” genre is open for all children. To cater to the needs of a diverse audience, anime features a variety of genres, and artistic styles, including children’s stories, romance, adventure, science fiction, action, medieval fantasy, horror and erotica (hentai). Many anime 1 “Anime-Its Origin”, http://www.karmanet.com 2 “What is Japanese Anime?”, http://www. wisegeek.org 3 Lesley Aeschliman, “What is anime?”, http://www.bellaonline.com
series were adapted from popular manga series such as Naruto and One Piece. The first step to anime production is the creation of storyboards, often by the director. On the storyboards, information including camera movement, pans, dialogue and the duration in seconds and frames are marked4. Once the setting and characters are in place, the director and the key animators will formulate the layouts. The final layout is then used by the art director as a template for making the background paintings. Thereafter the team decides how long the animation’s sequence will be. Japanese TV-anime is usually performed with 2:s, meaning that 12 drawings are shown per second. Since there might be multiple keyanimators in a production team, it is essential to check that the consistencies of drawing styles are maintained. Subsequently, the inbetweeners are responsible for completing any missing drawings between the key-frames, and correcting any mistakes. In the final step, the animations will be painted with hundreds of different colours. Post-production includes filming 4 “Production I.G - Tokyo”, http://www. huitula.com
of animation celluloids, the sound effects, music and dialogue recording. Dialogue recordings are recorded by voice actors and actresses (seiyu). Voice acting is a growing industry in Japan. The voice actors perform in anime and video games and they often have loyal and devoted fan-clubs, especially voice actresses. Some shows are even dedicated for fans to meet their favourite voice actors/actress. Seiyus are very good at attaching different voices to different anime characters.
Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most iconic Japanese manga artists, producers and screenwriters. He has directed many famous anime 43 | Culture and Thoughts
movies with Studio Ghibli, such as Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Princess Mononoke (1997). His biggest career success is perhaps Spirited Away (2001)5. His more recent works include Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), The Secret World of Arrietty (2010) and From Up on Poppy Hill (2011). On 1st September 2013 Miyazaki announced his retirement after releasing his last movie, Kaze Tachinu (2013). His great works will always be the pride of Japan and inspiration to the younger generations. Other than Miyazaki, there are of course other artists that are just as impressive. The adjacent table illustrates the rankings of the topselling manga series from 19th November 2012 to 17th November 2013 in Japan6. For all the otakus out there, do check these out! They are definitely not to be missed.
5 “Hayao Miyazaki”, http://en.wikipedia. org 6 “Top-Selling Manga in Japan by Series:2013”, https://www. animenewsnetwork.co.uk, 02/12/2013
If merely watching anime cannot satiate your appetite, you might want to do some cosplaying! “Cosplay” is the an abbreviation for “costume play”, which describes the process of dressing up as fictional characters from anime, video games or movies, and acting like them7. It is a Japanese subculture and hobby that gathers cosplay lovers together to share their beautiful handcreated costumes. Cosplayers generally dress up because they want to express their adoration for particular characters, and their interests in designing costumes. Cosplayers can even participate in competitions and cosplay conventions. Nowadays, the term ‘cosplay’ has been gradually generalised to mean simply wearing a costume.
7 “What Is Cosplay?”, http://www.cosplay. co.uk/
Anime is not only a great source of entertainment, it can also be educational and inspiring as there are always morals behind the storylines. If you run out of soap operas and Korean dramas, why not watch some Japanese anime?
Gastronomy in Hong Kong Janet Chan
Hong Kong’s food culture is not unlike the city’s vibes: dynamic, diverse and distinctive. Its unique flavours are attributed to its history under colonial Britain and influences from ethnic styles such as Canton and Hakka. Moreover,
its status as a cosmopolitan city in the East and its location as a harbour allowed outside influences to seep into the local styles and helped to build its reputation as a ‘gourmet paradise’. Catering to consumers on every budget, Hong
Kong has the entire spectrum of establishments: from roadside hawkers to internationally renowned Michelin-starred restaurants. Carbohydrates are a major part of the diet of Chinese people in Hong Kong. Instead of the Western arrangement of starter, main course and dessert, meals here usually consist of a bowl of rice or noodles, accompanied by the respective main dishes for lunch and dinner. Main dishes will normally include vegetables, meat and fish, which are then placed in the middle of the table and shared with communal chopsticks. “Yum cha” or “dim sum”, meaning drinking tea and small dishes respectively, are interchangeable words referring to a Cantonese cuisine which may constitute breakfast, brunch, lunch or afternoon tea. The food is normally steamed or fried and can be savoury or sweet. Its distinctive feature, as you may have guessed,
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is its small portions, which allow patrons to taste a wider variety of dishes. Popular dishes include “char siu bau” (barbeque pork filled bun), “cheung fun” (rice noodle roll filled with a chosen ingredient) and “sai mai lo” (sweet tapioca pudding). A cornucopia of teas complement the food, with the most popular ones being the ‘iron goddess’ tea and jasmine tea. True to its reputation as a city that never sleeps, Hong Kong has a round-the-clock service in many diners for night owls. A late night snack or “siu yeh” can start from 9PM and continue until 5AM, when early morning ‘dim sum’ begins. “Siu yeh” may consist of anything from a light snack such as fish and meat balls to a full meal such as fried rice. These diners can be found on every corner of Hong Kong, and provide a cheap and convenient way to kill hunger, even in the middle of the night. Like most urban cities, Hong Kong boasts restaurants of almost every cuisine around the world, as well as a host of fusion styles, offering an unusual, yet appetizing spin on traditional dishes. In particular, Hong Kong’s long relationship with Britain has made it susceptible to influence by Western styles, and in the process has created perennial favourites like the egg tart and Hong Kong-style milk tea. With its epithet as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, Hong Kong is sure to tickle all kinds of taste buds, there is something here for everyone.
Editor-in-chief Christie Mok
Head of Design Pearl Ho
President Noble Mak
Deputy Research Officer Janet Chan
Layout Francine Choi Pearl Ho
Vice President Kitty Lum
Deputy Editor Amy Lau Editorial Team Andrea Kan Adrian Kwan Christine Skrbic Clarissa Luk Jacqueline Yip Kelly Wong Peter Wat Ryan Chiu Sidhant Gupta Vivien Ruan
Contents Page Ivy Qi Cover Design Chining Chan
Secretary Marcus To Treasurer Edwin Lee Banking Events Officer Dan Xu Business Events Officer Andy Wong Law Events Officer Tiffany Chang Marketing Officer Pearl Ho Research Officer Christie Mok
ACJ Editorial Team