Saturday, April 29, 2017

China

Have not met many Chinese people yet in my life, a major experience deficit.

Two out of 1.38 billion. A business woman and a diplomat. 

As I was pointing out to some Greek free marketers recently, China is an example of how communism and capitalism can blend. 

Russia's example is much different. Visited the ex-USSR in 2014. In recent years I have had the pleasure of working with fellow humans from the ex Soviet Union and the rest of the Eastern bloc. Their experiences they shared with me have enriched my mind, their presence have enriched my life. Including my wife.

Looking forward to visiting China. A great prospect for a Greek like me.

America

Working these days for an American global corporation and dealing on its behalf with people from all over the planet, I get to experience their attitude  towards an American firm.

Not easy being American around the world in the Trump era. I feel the hostility in some people in North Europe of all places! As if you are working for Darth Vader Trump.

On the other hand I read a survey that says that some 70-80% of Swedes wish they were Americans.

An American who has spent time in Europe was telling me the other day that young Russians are the new Americans.

What is America? How is it perceived? What is it image? How does it affect US products and services. Challenging times of US corporations selling to the world.

Obama was the friendly American, image-wise, no matter the essence.

15%

 I work too hard different hours each week these days to be able to catch up on the details of the news.

It seems that Donald Trump is establishing a 15% corporate tax rate in the US. That's not bad news. That of course will apply to corporations that are US based or for US operations of other firms.

Where will he find the cuts in spending and the alternative sources of tax revenue, that is the real issue. Who will pay the price.

We will see.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

On June 8, UK

It's now or never for the European UK.

If May wins, it's over. None of my business, not in the UK, just saying.

The Remainers have been arguing post ref that the 52% is not 52% but due to the % that voted more like 34%.

Well, for each seat in the next parliament, winner takes all. So field one Remain candidate only and make each seat a referendum.

Winner takes all. All of the UK. No excuses this time.

None of my business, just saying.

But do not expect or even  ask for EU Single Market without free movement. That is outrageous and my business and every other European's.

From Europe with Love.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Trump card

Why was Donald elected? Why did Brexit happen? Is Le Pen going to win in France? What is happening?

70 years since GATT/WTO world trade. 15 since China joined in. 16 since the Euro/ Uruguay was successful, Doha was not. Why are Trump et al (eg Theresa May) happening?

It's survival stupid! Policy makers have failed us. Economic policy, social policy, industrial policy, the lot. They are meant to produce laws and other instruments to solve problems for the citizen.

Local admins, national and other. Laws, regulations, taxes, fees, etc. A modern labyrinth. Is the system working?

Not that well. People want a job, income, health, security, a life. Are they getting it?

What is needed?

Much better policy making.

Are Trump, May and company going to solve anything?

Unlikely. Because they are just a reaction.

What does it take for better policy making?

Competence.

Monday, April 17, 2017

A world that works

In the beginning we lived in caves.

We hunted, we were hunted and then also cultivated the land. There was no money, barter at best.

People want a job, because they need one to pay for the rent and buy food.

It is the job of policy makers to make sure there are jobs for everyone. If they can't then they are not fit for the job. Truth be told.

Redefining global

The signs were there to see.

The failure of the Doha round of WTO talks.

The emergence of regional and bilateral pacts.

"Think global, act local" was a corporate motto 25 years ago. Nothing new.

Brexit, Trump and now the Turkish ref.

May you live in interesting times was a Chinese curse. But a blessing for ones that can both think and act.

A view from the Bosporus

My father had visited Istanbul in 1960. I visited the city twice on stopover on my way to my wife's country in 2014. Took a bus from the airport and got off near the Bosporus.

When I faced the Bosporus I felt a big chill. I marveled at a cosmopolis that joins Asia and Europe. Wow. What a feeling. The people were diverse and friendly. Drank tea on the boat crossing sitting next to a Dutch woman.

For any Greek, Constantinople carries special significance. I felt at home, strangely. Strolled around the city for a few hours, it was a bank holiday and wound up eating kebab and chatting with a Syrian waiter and Turkish clients in Besiktas before going back to the airport to catch my flight.

On the bus, my card ran out of credits. A Turkish woman used hers to pay for me and refused to get reimbursed. 

After all that, what can I say. 

Well, Greece has always been suspicious of Turkish aims and with good cause. Greece was occupied for a few centuries.

But there is not much separating Turks and Greeks after all. We are both at the crossroads of three continents. 

To be honest, Turkey's current political/institutional problems are a great opportunity for Greece to attract global corporate business away from Istanbul. Coupled with Brexit, this is a great business opportunity for Greece.

I have met young Turks who work in Athens and it was a pleasure. I hope that Turkey finds its way into the future, it deserves it. Everyone does.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

WTO trade

Germany is exporting based on WTO trade rules plus the EU's trade deals with other economies in the world.

The UK is about to find out that you have to be the US or China to do without them. Good luck with that.

Strategic vision

Last time the UK won in the Eurovision SC was in 1975. Instead of leaving it, it is leaving the European Single Market (EU). 

Brilliant move.

npthinking at your service

London 1973. Kent 1974. Penn 1981-1982. Boston 1982-1985. Chicago 1985-1986. Fontainebleau 1990, Bruxelles 1991-1995. Italia-France-Belgie-UK-NL 2012. Trier 2013. Sofia, Warsaw, Istanbul and Kutaisi 2014. 

These are the voyages of Nick. 

Round the world 24/7/365. At your service, from Athens, Greece and on location. 

Come to Greece, experience Nick's Greece.

@ndpglobal

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Greek to me

Are you Greek? Well. I was born in Greece to Greek parents. My passport is Greek and that's the only one I have so I guess I am Greek alright.

I have studied at the world's best engineering school and Europe's No1 school for management. Have lived in the US, France, Belgium, Greece and Georgia. Traveled around North America and most of Europe.

Worked for various companies and clients. The world is my oyster. Yeap of course I am Greek, brother. Welcome to my planet, how can I help you.
One of my projects in 2017+ is to redefine Greece. Greece and Greeks deserve it. 7 years in crisis, 23% unemployed. Due to policy and other systemic failures.

WTO Mach 2 - the choice of a new generation

In September 2012 I was sitting on a ledge outside a store on Oxford Street observing people from all over the world pass by. It was what I call a Babylon 5 experience (more favorite to me as a young man than Star Trek or Star wars actually).

Today in a bus in Athens I was observing an Asian mother and her lovely three kids. I felt so proud to have them in Greece and smiling.

Suddenly, her 10 year old. a little princess, looked up to me, I am 6'4", smiled and in perfect Greek she said to me "sir, you remind me of someone".

That's my Athens. So blessed to be here, so much more exciting than the Athens of my own 10th birthday.

I see kids of all races in the public transport system in 2017 Athens and I wonder what kind of world they will be adults in.

We need a world where everyone has a job and decent living conditions. We need a WTO Mach 2. A WTO of a different kind.
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