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When you travel a lot, you start to care about the in-between places. I’ve always loved airports - the super efficient ones like Hong Kong and Singapore, the chic and gorgeously designed ones like Oslo and Denmark, the retro fantastic ones like Charles de Gaulle, and even the bizarre horrid ones like Harare in Zimbabwe. In a way, airports are the ultimate soft branding destination for any country. There is a lot of discussion these days about the virtues of soft power. Nations are vying for supremacy - not just in terms of military, political or economic strength - but also in people’s perception of ‘coolness’. And what better place to start, than the first port of call? Turkey seems to be no stranger to the concept. Check out the ultra luxe new Turkish Airlines business lounge in Istanbul. You start to wonder whether the developed/developing country paradigm is almost set to be reversed!
From Wall Street to Main Street, exposure to emerging markets have become part of the critical growth story that Western companies need to justify their future earnings. From the earliest days of eBay and Google, to more recent acquisitions by Groupon and Zynga, cash rich technology companies have followed the trend of buying up their counterparts in other markets. So, for local entrepreneurs copying can be a lucrative sport. But will this current phase of 'cloning' of Western web concepts continue or will we enter a new phase of homegrown development and innovation? After all - in an age when India's Tata owns Jaguar, and China's Geely owns Volvo - could Baidu one day be in a position to grab Google, and Tencent take out Facebook?
© 2013 Tomorrow Limited