Illustration: Satish Acharya 

 

Forward Looking

 

During my first visit to Guangzhou in 2003,  when I arrived at the international airport I noticed that the infrastructure was no match for the traffic (with the prevailing economic boom there) and was almost breaking up.  The facilities looked no better than an archaic  bus terminus in a tier 3 desi* city.  However, my host assured me that another airport was being readied and would dramatically change my perception.  I had to see it to believe it.

 

When the new airport was inaugurated, I couldn’t believe my eyes: the sprawling complex with sky high roofing, scores of gates to handle dozens of flights at a time, the modern furniture and fittings, the linkup roads from various entry points lined by flowering plants, etc. - it was light years ahead of the old one in thought, design, architecture and facilities.   Gathered that though Olympics was due at Beijing in the North in 2008, they didn’t want this strategic gateway, close to Hong Kong, to look any inferior in its appeal.

 

Coming closer home, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) was done in benchmarking with its counterparts in Singapore, Hong Kong and the upcoming one then at Incheon, Seoul.   In fact with strong links with its neighbours and sensing the constant flow of people between these nations, world-class expressways too are provided and continually improved upon as alternative links to traverse on land.

 

Whether there are cultural similarities or not between these nations brought about by the ethnic Chinese who have settled all across South East Asia,  when it comes to competition in economic growth, business, trade and even sports, each of these nations is equally aggressive and EVER READY TO TRANSFORM and be better.

   * Indian 

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