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Scrutiny
  
Mind’s like that...
The real assets are perhaps those we overlook...
10/01/2008

The world might have come a long way since Adam Smith wrote his pathbreaking book, The Wealth of Nations, but the essence of wealth in any business or for any nation, remains as inevitable as ever, even though its paradigm is ever changing. Gone are the days of Oregon Trail and the mad rush for gold; in today’s era, gold has been replaced by many of its poorer brethren as more important assets. Late 20th century saw the ascent of many of the Middle East countries simply because they were hosts to one of the largest reserves of crude oil in the world, an incredible wealth to hold on to. Soon it became one of the richest parts of the world. Yet the Arab sheikhs were prudent enough to realise that crude oil is an exhaustible wealth which made them start investing in physical infrastructure of Arab world as well as in the global financial markets.

The Arab investments in the US markets is just a shade less than a trillion dollar and ever increasing to make sure that even when oil is exhausted one day, their owners would not be. Similarly the world was for long divided between those countries which were bestowed with rich mineral resources and those which were not. Mother Earth by that standard has been a little more generous on Africa than many others. Yet more minerals and metals does not necessarily translate into more prosperity. Africa stands testimony to that. Contrast this with a country like Japan, devoid of any mineral wealth worth talking about. Yet, when Japan imports iron ore to make quality steel and from it makes world class cars to sell at a premium, it vindicates that the real wealth is perhaps not in metals but in the mind which can add value to them.

No wonder that Japan and the US are some of the richest nations of the world as they have allowed entrepreneurs to unleash the power of their minds and catapult the society to a higher paradigm.
Today, an operating system, a mobile phone or a micro processor can be called wealth but the real wealth are those whose gave shape to them. In the same league population was considered to be a major liability. But of late, two of the most populous countries of the world, China and India have realised that if they have ever done anything worthwhile, that was to nurture such huge population. In an era of market economy, the shrinking population and saturated market of the West, leaves the MNCs with only one choice, i.e. to invest and market in India and China. Not just as markets, India’s and China’s population can be considered wealthfor the incredible source of manpower they have become for the world. While the Chinese have specialised in being the manufacturer of the world, the Indians have specialised in the after sales service of the same.

But that this population doesn’t want to get restricted in it, is vindicated by the Tatas and Lenovos calling shots in global acquisitions.It doesn’t end here only. The biggest wealth of this world is still a calm mind and hope nurtured by the principle of self actualisation of East.Even wealthy West has accepted it. Against all odds, mankind still dream to live another day and wither the next Tsunami. So long this wealth of hope remains, other assets will work too.

By:- Pathikrit Payne
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