Black Country news and blogs Monday 21 April 2014
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Birmingham Post Business Blog: Mike Loftus

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Working a way through the holidays in China 

13 Apr 14

There was a bright spark on the radio the other week, fired up no doubt by the stuff floating about on educational achievement here and in China, who came out with the line ‘ if the Chinese are so good at Maths why don’t they know when their…

Just lounging around -or chance for a new departure 

3 Apr 14

Embroiled these days in the glittering world of international trade means that I get to spend a lot of time in glamorous locations like airports.

Let’s move the Chinese border down the M6 

18 Mar 14

Hey ho – the daffodils are out , the clocks are about to go forward ( or is it back ?) and there’s a bit of an argy bargy about which is the second City in England.

Learning – how to get that warm English glow 

10 Feb 14

Shepherding a group of visiting Chinese parents and children through Birmingham just last week, a recent quotation from the Beijing newspaper Global Times came to mind.

Building a team of all the talents 

4 Feb 14

Passing through Birmingham Airport on my route to distant parts I notice on a wall of a corridor leading to one of the loos a large poster promoting job opportunities at the new JLR engine plant at I54.

On being an alien too 

26 Jan 14

The one thing that any period in China does for a westerner is to expose them to the agreeably disconcerting experience of being an alien.

Something on the scale on D-day 

18 Jan 14

Did you ever go to one of those events where the main topic of conversation among the important guests was the really really exciting event just the other day.

Ominous rumblings from the East China Sea 

8 Jan 14

“Oh, there will be a war, sure enough.

Genius. Pure genius 

2 Jan 14

So here’s the thing .

That particular prickle of panic ( a slightly scary tale for Christmas) 

18 Dec 13

There’s a very particular prickle of panic that I expect we’ve all experienced.

Beijing bending away from Beckham 

12 Dec 13

Across downtown Beijing there are huge advertising hoardings featuring David Beckham promoting luxury clothes and watches.

Great Hall you have here, Mr Li 

6 Dec 13

There are some expressions that you think you will simply never get the chance to utter.

High Speed reflections 

29 Nov 13

Taking the high speed train from Beijing to Tianjin for a second time in two years during a recent visit to China did allow some time for reflection – though, to be sure, not very long.

A brighter day dawns. Perhaps 

24 Nov 13

Sometimes, you know, it’s just easier to run with the cliché.

Nods and winks across the Great Wall 

4 Nov 13

If you are going to do business with someone-indeed if you are going to have any sort of relationship- you have got to have some idea of just how the other side’s mind works.

China – not too big to finesses 

24 Oct 13

As the whole world seeks to position itself with regard to China, it’s good to see the scope and variety of connection that this City already has there.

Getting down to the bare essentials with regard to visas 

6 Oct 13

The task of making it easier for our upmarket retailers to relieve newly wealthy Chinese visitors of their hard earned rewards has been occupying the thoughts of our politicians and business folk .

A distinctively international approach for the City 

8 Sep 13

Fifteen minutes on the campus of one of our Universities last week highlighted very clearly again their international character and left me wondering if we fully appreciate the real resource that this creates – and more importantly, if we are…

Swatting flies in Beijing 

28 Aug 13

It might seem – at first sight – a long way from the high theatre of the trial of Bo Xilai in China to my humble desk.

It’s examboree time ! 

12 Aug 13

It’s almost examboree time again.

You don’s need a weatherman . . 

26 Jul 13

A couple of weeks of fine weather to put a smile on faces generally and then – to broaden the grins even further it seems – the statisticians tell us that GDP grew by 0.6% in the last quarter.

Chopstick men, matchstick men and everything in flux 

16 Jul 13

L S Lowry is very possibly the only recent British artist whose work has inspired songs that went to number one in both the UK and US charts.

OK it might be heresy – but there’s a lot at stake 

7 Jul 13

I’m afraid that I can feel a bit of a twinge of heresy coming on.

Mr Byrne- dropping in and catching up on China 

30 Jun 13

About halfway through his new book ” Turning to Face the East ” Liam Byrne maybe reveals his hand.

Chinas consumer boom from the bottom up 

22 Jun 13

The die, they say, is cast.

A Chinese epiphany in Coleshill 

9 Jun 13

Standing on the edge of a field of oilseed rape in a delightful corner of north Warwickshire is certainly as delightful a spot as any for a moment of epiphany.

Twenty first century mood music from China 

29 May 13

Last week’s jitters in world stock markets were attributed to less than encouraging statistics on manufacturing activity coming out of China.

Twenty first century mood music from China 

29 May 13

Last week’s jitters in world stock markets were attributed to less than encouraging statistics on manufacturing activity coming out of China.

Courting Justice in China 

16 May 13

The fall from grace last year of Chinese leader Bo Xilai, followed by the trail, conviction and sentencing of his wife for the murder of British business man Neil Heywood all threw a very powerful, albeit momentary, light on the working of…

Unsafe at current speeds – China’s industrial juggernaut 

3 May 13

If you were to pay attention to the wilder enthusiasms of the popular press you might be led to believe that the threats to our traditional way of life from the depredations of health and safety were far greater than the economic upheaval being…

Will Germany’s ‘plum blossom’ strategy continue to work in China ? 

23 Apr 13

Spring rushed into Berlin at quite a lick through a short break there last weekend with a tree outside our rented apartment going from bare branches to full bloom in a matter of days.

Why do Englishmen drink standing up ?( a Chinese visitor asks) 

14 Apr 13

Why do Englishmen drink standing up…

China – turning Ronald Reagan head over heels 

25 Mar 13

“I am from the Government and I am here to help you…

Looking at China – from the inside out 

18 Mar 13

“They are all corrupt.

A gift horse for the Local Enterprise Partnership, maybe ? 

21 Feb 13

It’s a goodly trot, you might think, from the current food scare to the latest plans for reinvestment in Birmingham but let’s have a closer look – we might just learn something.

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