Asia rebounds and the G2 consolidates – the world's 9 biggest companies are now either Chinese or American

Back from a blissful and disconnected few days in Italy, and now paying the price in terms of catching up with the backlog of reading and emails, so this week will mostly be signposting interesting stuff, rather than trying to write anything original.

Two graphics from this week’s Economist underline the rise of the G2 (US and Asian reboundChina). First up, the astonishing rebound under way in East Asia, as China’s fiscal stimulus pulls not just its own economy but those of its neighbours out of a sharp V-shaped recession in a recovery that European and US leaders can only dream of. Even after a slump in the first quarter, ’emerging Asia’ is likely to grow at 5% in 2009, compared to a 3.5% contraction in the G7 – an unprecedented growth gap of 8.5 percentage points. This is the statistical basis for all that talk about geopolitical shifts, tectonic plates, and the emergence of the G2, seen for example in last week’s bilateral US-China talks on climate change.

top 10 companiesThe second graphic underlines the point at the level of transnational corporations. Of the world’s top 9 companies by market capitalisation, 4 are Chinese (including Petrochina, the world’s biggest company) and 5 are from the US. Other countries only get a look in after the tenth slot.

Were the European Union to get its political act together to match its combined economic muscle, the G2 could become a G3. That could happen if the EU agrees the creation of two high level jobs: a president of the European Council, (which brings together all the national governments) and a  ‘high representative’, a kind of European foreign minister. The Economist also has the latest gossip on the jockeying for those positions.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please see our Privacy Policy.

We use MailChimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to MailChimp for processing. Learn more about MailChimp's privacy practices here.


3 Responses to “Asia rebounds and the G2 consolidates – the world's 9 biggest companies are now either Chinese or American”
  1. John Parker

    In addition, the debate about “re-balancing the world economy” (shifting demand from capital importers to capital surplus countries) is led by America and China, the biggest capital importer and exporter.

  2. Duncan

    Hi Anna
    I finished ‘Beijing Coma’ by Ma Jian – an outstanding novel (but long!) set around the events in Tiananmen square 20 years ago. One of those books that really stays with you after you finish it. Otherwise I was reading some entry level books for university politics and econmics to discuss with my son, who is coming up to his university entrance: ‘On Liberty’ by John Stuart Mill and the Communist Manifesto! May blog on the latter’s relevance/irrelevance to the global crisis at some point.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.