There are at least five surprises in Chinas future: facets of life and global business, stemming from the cultural, economic, and political evolution of this unique country, that will turn out differently from the way most outsiders suspect. These surprises are:
1. Why not me? The intensity of Chinese entrepreneurialism is propelling many companies, even now, beyond a role as producers of low-cost commodities.
2. Fearless experimenters: Chinas emphasis on rapid-fire research and development makes it a seedbed for original products and services in the future.
3. Chinas brain gain: The ability to attract and retain executives from around the world has provided a higher level of competence for Chinas enterprises.
4. Out from Guanxi: Outsiders still view China as a largely patronage-based economy, in which connections and ethnic background determine success, but increasingly (at least in some sectors), high-quality management and transparent governance structures count more.
5. Chinas overseas ambition: The country is taking on a role as a catalyst of sustained economic growth in the emerging markets of the developing world.