4 October 2007

Books Read


My vacation time is being profitably spent on reading nowadays (1 more week to go). After the excellent book, "First, break all the rules", I have finished "How Countries compete: strategies, structure, and government in the global economy" by Richard Vietor, 2007, Harvard Business School Press.

It is an interesting and informative book. It lays down 4 key fundamentals that countries must have to compete effectively: strategy, organisational structure, developing resources, and the efficient usage of resources.It also points to the role of government as pivotal in helping the country compete.

It picks out a sample of 10 countries and list out the above 4 aspects and states his position as to where they are in the past, present and future. The 10 countries are Japan, Singapore, China, India, Mexico, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Europe-Italy, and US.

Overall, it is a good read for information on what's happening in these countries. I would recommend it for beginner level reading on global competition.

One good quote from this book, Historian R.H.Tawney observed about China, "they ploughed with iron when Europe used wood, and continued to plough with it when Europe used steel." page 59.

One lesson learnt - role of government is very important, and for government to have continuity and hence country have stability to reap the benefits. Praise God for good governance in Singapore.

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