During the interviews and discussions which resulted in the final book there were a number of themes which emerged from all our conversations. These have continued since publication but I want to share some here over the next few days and weeks as background to doing business effectively in China now. There have been several well documented developments in China recently and one is the ‘slowdown’ of growth in the country. However all those interviewed, and those I have been speaking to this week in Beijing and in Hong Kong, felt and feel that the slowdown is welcome. The reduction in GDP growth, recently realigned to a predicted 7.7%, is a welcome brake on the previously frenetic pace they all saw as unsustainable. Board leaders are using the opportunity of the slower pace to do their own rebalancing. In the West a slowdown would be greated with trepidation and concern. Not so in China where it is seen as an opportunity to focus on profitability and operational risk management rather than the constant rapid fire responses required to rocketing growth. “Anyone can look good when the market is rising” observed one of my business contacts this week, “It’s when it all slows down that the real truth emerges as to who has managed the business for the long term”.