As companies in mature markets compensate for modest growth at home by trying to boost their presence in emerging economies, they are encountering intense competition from increasingly confident local players. Aggressive and nimble enterprises in China, India and elsewhere may pose some threat, but the real challenge in these high-growth markets is more complex. And it is affecting companies from all markets, not just those in North America, Europe and other developed economies.
The Great Debate
An interesting contrast is shaping up in global trade, where some indicators of the movement of raw materials are crashing even as exports from China and air traffic continue to show outstanding strength.
Sure, seeing your economy shrink at a 15 percent annual clip is depressing, quite literally, but if you believe in even a tepid global economic recovery in the second half, then Japan is actually attractive.