New Opportunities for an Ancient Culture

Author: USGI
Date Posted: May 16, 2014 Read time: 3 min

The latest edition of our Shareholder Report features a striking scene on the front cover—a traditional Chinese junk boat floating calmly in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour against the backdrop of a contemporary Chinese cityscape. The contrast between old and new China is an astounding sight, though a closer look at this culture reveals that the same innovation in design, technology and problem-solving attitude is still being used from one century to the next.

During the Han Dynasty, the Chinese had to build a ship that could sail long distances, and in often unsteady waters. About 2,000 years ago, the Chinese developed the hull design and sail plan for the junk boats, allowing these important vessels to operate and sail efficiently.

In 2014, the Asian nation still uses its innovation to deal with present-day challenges, two of which are pollution and traffic congestion, as we see its population growing every day.

In the March Government Work Report, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang declared war on pollution, and we are now witnessing clean energy reforms put in place in an effort to improve air quality. The country is not immune to criticism and concern from around the world, but I think Xian Liang, the co-portfolio manager of our China Region Fund (USCOX), puts it best when it comes to China’s ability to adapt to challenges.

Xian says, “Polluting industries continue to de-rate in performance, but keep in mind that well-managed health care and clean energy companies have outperformed, as they provide solutions to the problem and enjoy favorable policy support.”

China may be facing global growth challenges, but as Xian explains, being selective in the country allows us to avoid weak areas and pursue promising themes, especially those which concentrate on government policies such as the clean energy reforms.

I invite you to explore what’s inside our latest Shareholder Report to see what challenges and opportunities are facing not only China, but other countries and industries in 2014.


Explore the Shareholder Report


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