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  • Writer's pictureAlistair Nicholas

Quoted in Griffith Asia Insights' article on shape of post-coronavirus world

An opinion piece I co-authored was quoted in an article published by the Griffith Asia Insights blog: "The battle begins for the shape of the post-COVID world."

The original article, written with Guy McKanna, was published by the Lowey Institute's The Interpreter on 19 March 2020 under the title "Are you ready for how coronavirus is transforming the world?" The article had posited that Australian companies needed to prepare immediately to take advantage of the changes that would occur in China's economy because of the impact of the Covid19 outbreak and Beijing's response to it. It spoke of Chinese consumers' renewed interest in clean and safe food that Australia could supply, as well as a rise in online shopping and ecommerce, and changes to policy frameworks to foster more investment in technology and healthcare research and development.

The Griffith Asia Insights' article, which was published on 8 April 2020, stated the following:

'Alistair Nicholas, a Sydney-based business consultant with extensive China experience, and Guy McKanna, co-founder of the Australian Transformation and Turnaround Association, say that the answer is for Australia to engage far more fully, post-virus, with the PRC, confident in the success of its emerging strategies. They have written for the Lowy Institute that “as important as the health risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic and its containment are, leaders also need to start to think about the shape of the post–COVID-19 global economy. If they don’t, we all face a serious risk of succumbing to the new anti-globalisation protectionism that is on the rise”.
They posit that “China is very likely going to emerge from the coronavirus crisis much stronger economically”, as happened after the SARS outbreak of 2003. “By focusing on the fostering and amalgamation of medical, health, and technological advances, China will become the world’s leading economy sooner than expected… Chinese consumers will be more inclined to purchase goods and services online than at buildings where people gather. Even online education will become more attractive to China’s students—presenting both a risk and an opportunity for our tertiary education sector…”.
'Nicholas and McKanna believe that China’s “commitment to innovative and transformative technologies… will see a leap across the board, extending from its leadership in drones and automation, driverless cars and better communications, and smart-cities, to especially focus on healthcare and biotechnology…”.
'Rather than surreptitiously acquire these technologies from abroad, which was a major factor in the recent China-US trade war, they say, China will this time have to entice technology firms from around the world to bring it to them. “This will have a major impact on global financial services, with technology developers soon to find it easier to access a more open, yet still centralised, China”, they claim—despite the tone of its Made in China 2025 campaign.'

The Griffith Asia Insights article can be read in full here.

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