Tour of Japan, China, and Korea
On March 2, I embarked on a 10-day tour of Japan, China and Korea, speaking two, three and four times in each of those countries respectively.
My first trip to Asia was in 1968. At that time, Japan was rapidly recovering from World War II and throwing off its reputation for poor products by focusing on quality.
China was a repressive, totalitarian, communist state, largely impoverished with starvation and even famine caused by Mao’s "Great Leap Forward."
Korea in 1963 had a GNP per person of $100, and was a poor, cold, largely treeless backwater of Asia controlled by a military dictatorship with little economic activity or hope for the future.
How things have changed! By the 1970’s, Japan had emerged as the third largest economy in the world, producing and shipping billions of dollars of high quality products, cars, electronics, cameras, appliances – to America and the world. Today, China is an ultra-modern, beautiful country with sweeping freeways, beautiful buildings, fabulous hotels and restaurants and all the benefits that go with sustained prosperity.
The Japanese people are warm, polite, efficient, hard-working, and a pleasure to conduct seminars for.
Korea has increased its GNP per person from $100 to $16,000, an increase in wealth of 160 times in the last 43 years. This rate of wealth creation has never been matched in all of human history. Korea is today another ultra-modern state with huge industries, large, booming cities, wonderful hotels, restaurants and shopping centers, and a hard-working, intelligent and friendly people. I conducted four seminars while I was there, wrapping up with a two and a half hour program on Success and Achievement for 3,000 positive, happy Korean participants.
But the real miracle is China! This was my third visit to China, even though I lived in Hong Kong for some time in the late 1960’s. With the opening of China, I took my family there for several days in 1990. I then returned to China for three days of speaking in Beijing and Shanghai in 1992 for my friend Richard Tan of Singapore. The Chinese growth rate for the last decade has been 9% – 10% per year. At this rate, the entire economy doubles every seven years. In the last five years since I was in China, what was extraordinary and impressive at that time is today even more so.
My first visit was to Guangzhou, which was set up as a model industrial city by the government about 15 years ago. Today, it is a thriving ultra-modern, high-tech metropolis with 10 million highly energetic, hard-working, determined entrepreneurs starting and building businesses at an unbelievable rate. We had 3,000 people filled a major stadium to hear me speak on Leadership for the 21st Century. They are open and eager to learn the best ideas in the world to help them become even more successful in the future.
From there, we flew to Beijing, the capital of China, and easily the most impressive capital city in the world. The city has been laid out with great precision. The boulevards leading into the town and crisscrossing the center of the city are 12 lanes wide. Tens of thousands of condominiums and offices are under construction as far as the eye can see, and according to our hosts, they are all sold out already.
The hotels, restaurants, office buildings and factories are built with Swiss-like, German-style precision and quality in every element. The streets are so clean you could eat off of them 24-hours a day. The stores and shopping centers are jammed with affluent shoppers.
The Chinese middle class has now passed the 250,000,000 mark.
We stayed at the beautiful Raffles Hotel, not far from the capital’s Forbidden City in the center of Beijing. My seminar, for 1,000 entrepreneurs, was in a special Arts Theater of the Forbidden City, something very few foreigners ever get a chance to enjoy.
We spent several hours touring the Forbidden City with a bilingual guide. At one time, 60,000 bureaucrats worked in the city to serve the Emperor and the Empire. It was the center of power for the entire nation of China for hundreds of years. Its palaces, castles, living quarters, vast plazas, rivers, bridges and artwork make anything in Europe or America look small by comparison.
Finally, we flew off to Shanghai to address 1,000 people all day Saturday, March 10. Since my last visit there, five years ago, the city seems to have exploded in skyscrapers that stretch to the horizon. Shanghai now has a population of 20,000,000 people, and its current growth rate will be at 40,000,000 by 2010. My hotel, The Grand Hyatt, was 85 stories high. My room was on the 59th floor, from which I could see skyscrapers disappearing over the horizon in all directions. It was awe inspiring!
Just think! 20 years ago, China was a poor country where the major form of transportation was bicycles, rickshaws and horse-drawn carts. Today it is an economic juggernaut, 30% the size of the US economy, and slated to pass the US within 20 years.
I will talk more about the impact of Asia on our lives and the future of the world in future Blogs. For now, it is safe to say that the epicenter of world attention has shifted to China, and will be focused on China for the next 100 years.
Talk to you again soon.
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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.