Today, Knowledge Management today are not limited merely to : (A) 'knowing' or 'reading lots of books/scholarly articles' or (B) data mining, analysis, decision making, preventive actions, or (C) some Human Resources Management issue or (D) some ICT issue. Knowledge Management is about putting your knowledge, skills and competency into practice and most important IT WORKS! For you and your company or your business (Nik Zafri)

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Email: nikzafri@yahoo.com, nikzafri@gmail.com

Kelantanese, Alumni of Sultan Ismail College Kelantan (SICA), Diploma (Management), IT Competency Cert, Certified Written English Professional US. Has participated in many seminars/conferences (local/ international) in the capacity of trainer/lecturer and participant.

Affiliations :- Council Member of Gerson Lehrman Group NY, Institute of Quality Malaysia, Malaysian Institute of Management, Malaysian Occupational Safety and Health Professionals Association, Auditor ISO 9000 IRCAUK, Auditor OHSAS 18000 (SIRIM and STS) /EMS ISO 14000:2004 and Construction Quality Assessment System (CONQUAS, CIDB (Now BCA) Singapore),

* Possesses 26 years of experience/hands-on in the multi-modern management & technical disciplines (systems & methodologies) such as Knowledge Management (Hi-Impact Management/ICT Solutions), Quality (TQM/ISO), Safety Health Environment, Civil & Building (Construction), Manufacturing, Motivation & Team Building, HR, Marketing/Branding, Business Process Reengineering, Economy/Stock Market, Contracts/Project Management, Finance & Banking, etc. He was employed to international bluechips involving in national/international megaprojects such as Balfour Beatty Construction/Knight Piesold & Partners UK, MMI Insurance Group Australia, Hazama Corporation (Hazamagumi) Japan (with Mitsubishi Corporation, JA Jones US, MMCE and Ho-Hup) and Sunway Construction Berhad (The Sunway Group of Companies). Among major projects undertaken : Pergau Hydro Electric Project, KLCC Petronas Twin Towers, LRT Tunnelling, KLIA, Petronas Refineries Melaka, Putrajaya Government Complex, Sistem Lingkaran Lebuhraya Kajang (SILK), Mex Highway, KLIA1, KLIA2 etc. Once serviced SMPD Management Consultants as Associate Consultant cum Lecturer for Diploma in Management, Institute of Supervisory Management UK/SMPD JV. Currently – Associate/Visiting Consultants/Facilitators, Advisors for leading consulting firms (local and international) including project management. To name a few – Noma SWO Consult, Amiosh Resources, Timur West Consultant Sdn. Bhd., TIJ Consultants Group (Malaysia and Singapore) and many others.

* Ex-Resident Weekly Columnist of Utusan Malaysia (1995-1998) and have produced more than 100 articles related to ISO-9000– Management System and Documentation Models, TQM Strategic Management, Occupational Safety and Health (now OHSAS 18000) and Environmental Management Systems ISO 14000. His write-ups/experience has assisted many students/researchers alike in module developments based on competency or academics and completion of many theses. Once commended by the then Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia for his diligence in promoting and training the civil services (government sector) based on “Total Quality Management and Quality Management System ISO-9000 in Malaysian Civil Service – Paradigm Shift Scalar for Assessment System”

Among Nik Zafri’s clients : Adabi Consumer Industries Sdn. Bhd, (MRP II, Accounts/Credit Control) The HQ of Royal Customs and Excise Malaysia (ISO 9000), Veterinary Services Dept. Negeri Sembilan (ISO 9000), The Institution of Engineers Malaysia (Aspects of Project Management – KLCC construction), Corporate HQ of RHB (Peter Drucker's MBO/KRA), NEC Semiconductor - Klang Selangor (Productivity Management), Prime Minister’s Department Malaysia (ISO 9000), State Secretarial Office Negeri Sembilan (ISO 9000), Hidrological Department KL (ISO 9000), Asahi Kluang Johor(System Audit, Management/Supervisory Development), Tunku Mahmood (2) Primary School Kluang Johor (ISO 9000), Consortium PANZANA (HSSE 3rd Party Audit), Lecturer for Information Technology Training Centre (ITTC) – Authorised Training Center (ATC) – University of Technology Malaysia (UTM) Kluang Branch Johor, Kluang General Hospital Johor (Management/Supervision Development, Office Technology/Administration, ISO 9000 & Construction Management), Kahang Timur Secondary School Johor (ISO 9000), Sultan Abdul Jalil Secondary School Kluang Johor (Islamic Motivation and Team Building), Guocera Tiles Industries Kluang Johor (EMS ISO 14000), MNE Construction (M) Sdn. Bhd. Kota Tinggi Johor (ISO 9000 – Construction), UITM Shah Alam Selangor (Knowledge Management/Knowledge Based Economy /TQM), Telesystem Electronics/Digico Cable(ODM/OEM for Astro – ISO 9000), Sungai Long Industries Sdn. Bhd. (Bina Puri Group) - ISO 9000 Construction), Secura Security Printing Sdn. Bhd,(ISO 9000 – Security Printing) ROTOL AMS Bumi Sdn. Bhd & ROTOL Architectural Services Sdn. Bhd. (ROTOL Group) – ISO 9000 –Architecture, Bond M & E (KL) Sdn. Bhd. (ISO 9000 – Construction/M & E), Skyline Telco (M) Sdn. Bhd. (Knowledge Management),Technochase Sdn. Bhd JB (ISO 9000 – Construction), Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia (IKIM – ISO 9000 & Internal Audit Refresher), Shinryo/Steamline Consortium (Petronas/OGP Power Co-Generation Plant Melaka – Construction Management and Safety, Health, Environment), Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Negotiation Skills), Association for Retired Intelligence Operatives of Malaysia (Cyber Security – Arpa/NSFUsenet, Cobit, Till, ISO/IEC ISMS 27000 for Law/Enforcement/Military), T.Yamaichi Corp. (M) Sdn. Bhd. (EMS ISO 14000) LSB Manufacturing Solutions Sdn. Bhd., (Lean Scoreboard (including a full development of System-Software-Application - MSC Malaysia & Six Sigma) PJZ Marine Services Sdn. Bhd., (Safety Management Systems and Internal Audit based on International Marine Organization Standards) UNITAR/UNTEC (Degree in Accountacy – Career Path/Roadmap) Cobrain Holdings Sdn. Bhd.(Managing Construction Safety & Health), Speaker for International Finance & Management Strategy (Closed Conference), Pembinaan Jaya Zira Sdn. Bhd. (ISO 9001:2008-Internal Audit for Construction Industry & Overview of version 2015), Straits Consulting Engineers Sdn. Bhd. (Full Integrated Management System – ISO 9000, OHSAS 1800 and EMS ISO 14000 for Civl/Structural/Geotechnical Consulting), Malaysia Management & Science University (MSU – (Managing Business in an Organization), Innoseven Sdn. Bhd. (KVMRT Line 1 MSPR8 – Awareness and Internal Audit (Construction), ISO 9001:2008 and 2015 overview for the Construction Industry), Kemakmuran Sdn. Bhd. (KVMRT Line 1 - Signages/Wayfinding - Project Quality Plan and Construction Method Statement ), Amiosh Resources - (1) Lembaga Tabung Haji - Flood ERP (2) WNA Consultants - DID/JPS -Flood Risk Assessment and Management Plan - Prelim, Conceptual Design, Interim and Final Report etc. (3) Tunnel Fire Safety - Fire Risk Assessment Report - Design Fire Scenario), Safety, Health and Environmental Management Plans leading construction/property companies/corporations in Malaysia. Timur West Consulting (1) Business Methodology and System (2) Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) ISO/IEC 27001:2013 for Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya ISMS/Audit/Risk/ITP Technical Team

* Has appeared for 10 consecutive series in “Good Morning Malaysia RTM TV1’ Corporate Talk Segment discussing on ISO 9000/14000 in various industries. For ICT, his inputs garnered from his expertise have successfully led to development of work-process e-enabling systems in the environments of intranet, portal and interactive web design especially for the construction and manufacturing. Some of the end products have won various competitions of innovativeness, quality, continual-improvements and construction industry award at national level. He has also in advisory capacity – involved in development and moderation of websites, portals and e-profiles for mainly corporate and private sectors, public figures etc. He is also one of the recipients for MOSTE Innovation for RFID use in Electronic Toll Collection in Malaysia.

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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Global economic power shifting to Asia

Wolfensohn predicts shift in global economy

It's no secret that a massive shift in global economic power is under way from West to East but the question is whether the old developed economies are ready for the consequences of this change.

Former World Bank president, James Wolfensohn, thinks not. He also thinks the time is rapidly approaching where the World Bank's top job should cease to be the exclusive preserve of the United States.


JIM MIDDLETON: Your old organisation the World Bank says that China's current economic model is unsustainable in the medium term. How serious a problem for the rest of the world would it be if China's leaders do not engage in the kind of top to bottom liberalisation of their economy envisaged by the World Bank?

JAMES WOLFENSOHN: Well I think what the World Bank is saying is that any period of 40 years growth, which they're projecting between now and 2050, will have some bumps. And I think they're saying that in terms of the remarkable growth that there's been in China in recent years there may be a slowing, there may be an adjustments in terms of housing, there may be an adjustment in terms of the amount of borrowings. 

But I don't think that the World Bank is predicting any great collapse in China. It is just that there will be perhaps a slowing for a few years but they certainly still believe that by 2050 China will be confident 25 per cent of the global economy.

JIM MIDDLETON: The World Bank is worried about certain factors, for instance the notion that China could grow old before it gets wealthy. The fact that in just five years time China's work force will have more retirees than entrants. These factors do point to the need for a pretty substantial structural renovation, even though China has been so successful over the past three decades.

JAMES WOLFENSOHN: I think that China has shown up to now that it can adjust. It's my belief that there are many people in China, particularly in the rural areas, who have come into more industrialised and city areas. The Chinese themselves are just bringing, I think, 350 million people into that particular group. And I think they're looking forward to the creation of a pretty substantial middle class, along with the middle class that will grow in India.

So what you're saying is absolutely correct. The population will age, but it's against a backdrop, of very substantial growth and there is also the possibility of an extension of the work life in China, which is, I think, something that I is likely to happen.

JIM MIDDLETON: The World Bank is arguing the need for liberalisation; that China needs to move to a market economy. Many Chinese, of course, argue that state capitalism has worked very well, especially given the record of free market capitalism in recent years. Why wouldn't state capitalism work for China into the future?

JAMES WOLFENSOHN: Well I think one of the reasons is that many Chinese, and if you go, as I am sure you do, to Shanghai, Beijing, even to many of the other cities in China, very large cities, you will find that the enterprise is occurring from the private sector. It is not occurring just from the government owned corporations.

It is always been true that the Chinese themselves as a people are quite entrepreneurial. They may still call it state capitalism for another 10 or 20 years but for anybody that show knows China they will, I think, comment on the fact that the individual is becoming a more important factor in the country.

JIM MIDDLETON: Broadening the discussion a little bit, you've noted that by mid -century fully 60 per cent of world GDP will come from Asia. What makes you say, though, that the old developed economies are not ready for this shift? 

JAMES WOLFENSOHN: Well, first all, the proposition is that we will do as was done in the early 1800s and before that in 1500, which is that the weight of the economies of the world will shift to Asia.

And I think there's very little doubt that we will have 50 to 60 per cent of the world's GDP in Asia. If that is true, then the rest of us in the more developed or the Western world will have 30 to 40 per cent, because that's the other part of it; along with whatever Africa has and some parts of Latin America. 

So what I think is happening is you're seeing a shift in terms of both population and a shift in terms of initiative and knowledge. The interesting thing to me is that the Chinese and the Indians are studying with huge numbers in the Western universities, in the United States and also, I've been interested to see, very much in Australian universities, so you're quite used to it.

The truth of the matter is that we in the West are doing very little about learning about the East, learning about what happens in China, learning about what is happening in India. And our young people are just not encouraged or maybe not themselves go to study in these part of the world. Certainly people of my age never thought of doing it. And I'm afraid in we're in a transitional period where parents of my age are a bit less - have not encouraged their children to go and do Asian studies. 

I have very little doubt that it will be a necessity over the next 10, 15 years. And it is my hope that Australia could be a leading country in terms of that transition because of its proximity to Asia and frankly the importance of Asia to Australia in term of the economics.

JIM MIDDLETON: Is one of the logical implications of that shift the global economic institutions, the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the World Bank, G20, also need to change to reflect that changing balance of economic power

JAMES WOLFENSOHN: I don't have the slightest doubt that they need to change. They were invented really after World War II. And there's no question that the balance of the shareholding and the traditions of that 50 plus years have certainly served us well. But the world was pretty much the same until the end of the last century, but starting in 2002 we've seen a significant move in terms of share of global income towards Asia.

The international institutions have not yet adjusted for that. And in another 10 years or 15 years or 20 years we will see a totally different ranking in terms of the economic power of both the world and the representation that you need in those international institutions. It certainly cannot, in the long term, be right that a French person should head the International Monetary Fund and an American should head the World Bank. I don't have the slightest doubt that in 10 years time that will be different.

JIM MIDDLETON: Is 10 years too late, though? Is this now a timely moment for leadership of the World Bank to go to a representative of one of the fast growing and increasingly large developing economies?

JAMES WOLFENSOHN: It only stands to reason that an institution which is concerned with development, and where development has taken place and where some of the developing countries have now reached sizeable positions. After all, China is now the second largest economy in the world to the United States ahead of everybody else.

So it wouldn't be surprising if at some moment a Chinese colleague would head the World Bank. It wouldn't be surprising if someone from Latin America or someone from India with global skills would head it. In my judgment, I think that that would be a healthy development. It's already happened in the management level.

And I think it would be - personally I think that at some point if not the next one it would be an important development to see happen.

JIM MIDDLETON: James Wofensohn it's been a pleasure talking to you.

Economic power shifting to Asia from the West?

Today, as much as China is the centre of global manufacturing, India has become the international hub for global service industries. India’s IT and outsourcing exports amount to over US$ 50 billion.

The economic resurgence of China and India has also made way for the emergence of Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam as manufacturing bases. This shift of world economic power back to Asia is highlighted in the ADB Key Indicators (for Asia and the Pacific) for 2010.
Today, the Asia Pacific accounts for 38% of the world economy. Europe comes second and North America third. Within Asia over 67% of the GDP comes from three countries – China, India and Japan. It is predicted that Asia will be the main driver of global growth over the next two decades with a newly-emerging Asian middle class of nearly 1.5 billion.

Since 1980, 400 million Chinese people have transcended poverty lines. By 2030 the Chinese middle class is expected to exceed 600 million. In numbers – this will be the largest middle class in the world; and the world’s third largest consumer market. India will be the fifth largest in the world with 520 million consumers. It is this demographic transformation of 1.5 billion Asian consumers, which will fuel global economic growth.

Inclusive growth

However, China and India to fuel global economic growth need to encourage inclusive growth and oppose all forms of trade protectionism. They need to improve the global monetary system and promote new modes of development.

One of the most significant changes today is the collective rise of emerging countries. The emerging countries have become an important force in global affairs. They are no longer in the backseat of global economic governance.

The emerging economies are now institutional players, rule makers and protectors of interests. Many global issues cannot be solved without the participation and support of emerging economies. Currently, China is the world’s second largest economy. Many predict that China’s GDP will soon surpass the US. An IMF report concluded, that calculated on PPP basis, China’s GDP will overtake that of the United States in 2016.

Some scholars predict that global power is ‘shifting’ from the West to the East. 

However, many analysts believe that there is no need for developed countries to lose sleep over this. Developed countries have for centuries accumulated incredible wealth and social and economic infrastructure, which still give them an advantage in capacity and influence over the East.
On the other hand, while the developing countries’ rapid economic growth has resulted in a more balanced distribution of global economic power, they don’t have much of a say still in global political and economic affairs.

Many emerging/developing countries are still far behind the developed countries in overall capacity, international outreach, institutional building and economic and social growth. Global issues are fundamentally about development. World peace and security cannot be built in the absence of stronger developing countries, smaller South-North gap, fewer living in abject poor and a better world order.

China’s challenges

China is today the largest developing/emerging country; it has had an extraordinary economic rise built foremost on the backs of low priced workers. China is seeing fast urbanisation and going through a rapid modernisation process. However, China’s growth is totally unbalanced. On per capita income they are 90+ in the world.

Based on United Nations standards, there are over 150 million Chinese people living in poverty. To become a true global player, China faces many challenges: In 2010, China’s economy grew by 10.3 percent to almost six trillion US dollars.

Yet, the foundation for development is weak. China has a huge population and frequent natural disasters. There is an increasing gap between the Eastern China and Western China, urban, rural regions and the rich and poor.

China also has an ageing population they need to take care of. China therefore would need to invest big to improve health care, education and housing. In addition the real wages in China have increases over 12% per year from 2000-2009 and this could result in some of the manufacturing jobs shifting to India, Cambodia and Vietnam.

China’s emergence

One of the most popular debates is the possibility that the United States will be joined or even surpassed as a superpower by China. What makes a superpower, and what would it take for China to match the United States? A genuine superpower does not merely have military and political influence, but also must be at the top of the economic, scientific, and cultural pyramids.

The most recent genuine superpower before the United States was the British Empire. Many Europeans like to point out that the EU has a larger economy than the US, but the EU is a collection of 27 countries that does not share a common leader, a common military, or a uniform foreign policy.

No doubt the only realistic candidate for joining the US in superpower status by 2030 is China. Unlike the US, China has a population of over four times the size of the United States, has the fastest growing economy of any large country, has the buying power and is also mastering sophisticated technologies. But to match the US economy by 2030, China would need an economy that matches the US economy in size.

If the US, with an economy of $14.7 trillion in nominal terms, grows only by 3% a year for the next 20 years, it will be $ 27 trillion in 2030. This is a modest assumption for the US.
China, with an economy of $5.88 trillion nominal terms (not in Purchasing Power Parity terms) grows at 8% a year for the next 20 years straight will be around $ 27 trillion in 2030.

China will have to sustain these growth levels for a long period of time (no country, let alone a large one, has grown at more than 8% over such a long period).

In other words, the progress that the US economy would make from 1945 to 2030 (85 years) would have to be achieved by China in just the 20 years from 2010 to 2030. Even then, this is just the total GDP, not per capita GDP, which would still be far to catch up because of China’s huge population, US currently $47,000 and China $4200.

Also, the weak dollar also leads some currency experts to believe/ that the US will lose economic dominance in the next few years. The US dollar comprises a dominant 60%-65% of global currency reserves, even greater share than it had 10 years ago, while the second highest share is that of the Euro (itself the combined currency of 21 separate countries) at just 25%.

So is there no currency that has any chance of overtaking the US, particularly a currency that is associated with a single sovereign nation? The Chinese Yuan represents fewer than 3% of world reserves, and China itself stockpiles US dollars and Euros. Clearly, US dominance in the global currency market is enormous, and very unlikely to lose that edge in the foreseeable future.

Furthermore, unlike the US brands Chinese brands have always been labelled as cheap and obscure quality, and suffer from weaker popularity compared with brands. But the Chinese market is consolidating quickly and has already nurtured some well-known brands in recent years. However, they need combine their image with US factors, to prove their brand competitiveness to domestic consumers and set up high-end brand images.

The US to retain its dominance will however have to manage the debt ceiling (foreign debt $ 13.5 trillion and domestic) and get their private sector that collectively owns over $ 2 trillion to stand up and lead the recovery without depending on fiscal stimulus from Obama.

(The writer is CEO, HR Cornucopia.)