Could you pick two more different regions of the world to compare than China and Western Europe? Almost polar opposites in terms of social structure, demographics, and economic growth, China and Western Europe are often matched up as a case-in-point example of "the world of yesterday" versus "the world of tomorrow."
But let's hold on a second. Dismissing the past may be fashionable when booms are under way, but that's not always an especially Foolish thing to do. Berkshire Hathaway's
No doubt, China is growing strongly today, but it's also rushing headlong into some issues that will challenge and strain the country. Environmental degradation, the wealth gap between rural and urban communities, the heightened interest in self-expression that often accompanies newfound wealth -- all of these are problems that Western Europe has largely ironed out but that China is just beginning to face.
So while China is almost assuredly going to be an economic force for the remainder of our lives, let's see in this debate whether Western Europe may still have a few tricks left in the bag.
(Including largest in Western Europe in total GDP)
*Projections for 2006.
- China: ChinaMobile
(NYSE:CHL), Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), CNOOC (NYSE:CEO)
- Germany: E.ON
(NYSE:EON), SAP (NYSE:SAP), Deutsche Telekom (NYSE:DT)
- United Kingdom: Lloyds Group
(NYSE:LYG), GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), BP (NYSE:BP)
- France: Alcatel
(NYSE:ALA), FranceTelecom (NYSE:FTE), Total SA (NYSE:TOT)
In this match, Rick Munarriz will be taking a look at China, while Jim Gillies focuses on Western Europe.
- Investing World Cup: China
- Investing World Cup: Western Europe
- Investing World Cup: China Rebuttal
- Investing World Cup: Western Europe Rebuttal
- Vote for a winner!
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson but has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).