The rise of China's entrepreneurs
China's admittance to the prestigious World Trade Organisation
is a milestone in terms of the growth of its economy. In many ways, this is the culmination of the so-called ‘open door policy' launched by the reformist leader of the Chinese Communist Party, the late Deng Xiaoping, back in 1978. After many years in economic isolation in the global sense, China had begun a remorseless journey towards the situation it now finds itself in: at the forefront of the world's trading superpowers.
What this newfound status has meant is that the stage is now set for China to produce an ever-expanding list of entrepreneurs; a band of vibrant, high-achieving Chinese individuals, fuelled with the drive to make the most of the vast economic potential of this nation. In fact, over the previous two decades millions of such entrepreneurs have emerged in China.
One of the most decisive factors behind this phenomenon has been the fact that the 300,000 state-owned enterprises were simply unable to compete with the explosion in private commercial ventures once China was outside the official trading system. Many of the state-owned industries will either fall by the wayside, or be absorbed into the much healthier private trading companies.
While the Communist Party's position has never been in any doubt, it will greatly benefit from the successful integration of China into the global business community. A key to this continuing economic success is the rise of the Chinese entrepreneurs. The Party has developed a pragmatic philosophy in the face of the rampant free market forces which have been gathering apace in this part of the world for some time now. If a handful of individuals can be unleashed to accumulate considerable wealth, then their trailblazing activities will be a beacon of inspiration that will lead the way for economic development throughout the rest of the nation.
The difference between the Chinese outlook and those of their counterparts in the United States of America, Western Europe, Russia and the capitalist countries of Asia is the fact that business leaders prefer to maintain a much lower profile, shunning the publicity that might see an American entrepreneur appearing on the cover of Time magazine or being interviewed on prime-time chat shows. One senior Chinese government official stated that the Chinese should always view entrepreneur success stories as “part of the overall process, not just in terms of their personal charisma”.