A Chinese junk bobbed in the wake of a sleek white ferry, the captains briefly exchanging glances as they plied their trade in the auditorium that is Hong Kong harbour. A fluffy white cloud hung over Victoria Peak as if joining Nick Fox in savouring one of the great city views of the world.
As far as views from hotel rooms go, Nick rated the one from the Royal Pacific Hotel in Kowloon one of the best he had seen, but most of the forty-plus Chief Executives in the room were more curious about the secretive invitation from the Asia–Pacific leaders forum, of which they were members, to spend three days together in Hong Kong.
Arriving to find a wide, open room, they milled uncomfortably around the perimeter, which featured multiple large plasma screens and white panels designed for writing on.
A table stood in the middle of the room with three glass cylinders full of large blue, red and black jelly beans, respectively.
From banks, governments, universities, mining, fast-moving consumer goods, telecommunications and hospitality businesses they had come on the promise of learning about, and experiencing, something of immense value to their businesses.
Hong Kong is proof that businesses no longer make money just from assets, and the mix of the attendees made it quite clear that the old boundaries of country, industry, age and gender were no more. With money flowing at the speed of light and ideas a dime a dozen, the banker ...