EXPLOIT THE EXPORT OPPORTUNITY – OFFSET THE BAD NEWS

News about the US economy is not good.  Some say we might even be headed into a situation similar to Japan’s in the 1990’s.  (Twenty years later, Japan is still struggling with the bursting of their property and market bubbles.)  In order to counter the downturn, the US government has initiated an aid package aimed at maintaining unsustainable high rates of personal consumption.  As a business person and a consumer, I have problems with spending to “save” the economy.  It’s like buying drinks for an alcoholic.  It seems like a very short term strategy for some long term problems like industry shifts, crumbling infrastructure and massive debt.  I’d rather see an investment strategy, an innovation drive and a more global point of view.  And apparently I am not alone with this point of view.  On today’s NY Times Op-Ed pages, Stephen Roach, Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, states, “A more effective strategy would be to try to tilt the economy away from consumption and towards exports and long needed investments in infrastructure.”

At AIM, we are very involved in helping our clients sell into the hot growth markets such as India, China and Poland and in re-visiting markets on the upswing (again) like Japan.  India is now the world’s second fastest growing economy with a huge population of eager shoppers (600 million upscale and mid market consumers) and the hottest retail market in the world.  Yet, as a culture, Indians still have a creativity gap.  The most prestigious careers are still engineering, medicine and investment banking.  The country needs more designers, writers AND creative salespeople.  And more creative and well designed product.  Smart marketers from the US are seeking to fill this gap in India (and in other markets).  And they will certainly profit from this effort, whether their products are actually made in the US or manufactured in Asia using American design and know-how.  Too bad our government doesn’t help more with this export opportunity instead of merely providing Americans with a free check for spending on more imported products here that they don’t really need…