Friday, June 06, 2008

Hong Kong insights

The Pacific Rim Policy Exchange conference that I am attending this week in Hong Kong ended last night with a dinner that featured Mr. Jimmy Lai Chee Ying, the founder of Next Media which includes the newspaper, Apple Daily.

Impressive is the best way to described Mr. Lai. Not only is he a successful businessman/multi-millionaire -- in both the fashion industry and the media business -- but he is also personable, humble, moral, entertaining, and a free market champion!! Now this is the kind of person China needs as its leader not President Hu.

Here is Next Media's website in case any of my readers can read Chinese -

I mention this website because during the dinner with Mr. Lai we were able to pose questions to him so I asked -- "what 3 websites do you read most often..........." -- to which he replied, "none, I read newspapers/magazines like Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Newsweek.........." I found this both insightful and amusing given all the hype about "New Media" and the death of newspapers. Here is a very successful business man who has built a media company which includes websites yet he doesn't even read websites.

The saddest bit of reality for me of course is that it is VERY unlikely that Mr. Lai will ever read my blog!!! :-) This ends our humorous commentary for today.

Finally I will close by noting that during my city tour today our tour guide informed us that "most residents of Hong Kong pay a maximum of 15% for personal income tax" which is closer to the world I want to live in. Hong Kong's economy is booming versus the "recession" atmosphere we have in the USA so I say we should reduce our income tax rates to a flat tax of 15% as an economic stimulus package.


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