The German way:
– Long term thinking; and
– do not have ‘return on capital employed’ as their most important goal. Contribution to society is always a very important point.” This should be a lesson to the government, Temasek and its TLCs, and other GLCs who are obssesd with two variants of “return on capital” : “returns on investment or equity.
Did the S’pore government which claims that “too much democracy” (I’m summarising it’s view) is not conducive to decision-making for the long-term, see China as the next growth market in 1975? I doubt it. S.poreans had difficulty getting permission from the S’pore government to visit China.
In October 1975 – 37 years ago, when China was in the chaos of the Cultural Revolution – the Financial Times described German policy towards the country: “China could be the next growth market”.
Talk about long-term thinking. In ultra-unlikely circumstances – where Chairman Mao was excoriating capitalism and the new Chinese constitution talked of a “dictatorship of the proletariat” – German capitalists had identified the big new market: the People’s Republic of China.
“The West German approach is typical of the very long-range view that German industry has taken,” said the FT.
“At the heart of the approach lies the cultivation of a market, even if the short-term results are not over-encouraging.”
Or take this from Die Zeit in the same year: “The image which Germany is trying to project in the largest and most populous developing country in the world is not that of a major political power, but rather of the most important industrial country in the world, a country whose tool-making and mechanical engineering can compete successfully on the world market.”
And this should be a lesson to the govwernment, Temasek and its TLCs, and other GLCs, do not have ‘return on capital employed’ as their most important goal. Contribution to society is always a very important point.”