During the 3 decades spanning the late 1970’s to 2011, China’s exports exploded unbelievably. And we mean this literally because had one asked a seasoned China buyer in 1980 what the potential China exports would be thirty years hence, no one would have believed an annual figure of $1.4 trillion and foreign exchange reserves of over $3 trillions.
And yet that is what happened. China’s exports was the locomotive that pulled China’s economy at a torrid average annual GDP growth rate of 10% and lifted over 200 million people out of poverty. The changes that enabled China to achieve this were extraordinary and affected every aspect of society. If one compares China in 1979 to the new China of today, one recognizes practically nothing. In those days, money had no value; real estate was not a business; opening to the West was a new concept; China was in dire need of hard currency; the legal system was primitive at best; hotels were few and far between; travel within China was restricted, the list is endless.