In the fi rst half of 2011, I took two trips to Shenzhen, both at the invitation of the leadership of powerful global companies that are signifi cant players in the region-one a foreign company that is increasingly centralizing its operations in the region; the other a Chinese company that has grown up there and is increasingly looking outward. The fi rst trip was to visit the primary operations of Colgate-Palmolive’s toothpaste and toothbrush production facility. Toothpaste production is a funny business; for someone who is not familiar with the intricacies of the production process (like me, prior to this trip), it might seem somewhat mundane as a business. It does not, at fi rst glance, have the complexity of automobiles or high tech businesses; it does not seem to hold the scientifi c “importance” of pharmaceuticals. But, as it turns out, importance of this industry cannot be overstated, as everyone needs these products and they actually track very closely with health and hygiene, which, in turn, track closely with education, and several other socio-economic indicators. And the production process within a toothpaste plant is actually incredibly complex and fascinating to see in action. The complexity and effi ciency of CP’s fully automated plant is truly amazing, and this is the company’s première production facility in the world. The majority of CP’s production for the world comes from China, but the company is also very much focused on China’s internal market. The decision to link the company’s future so closely to China-both in terms of production and in terms of growth-is indicative of the multilayered advantages China has as a destination for foreign companies: China has

become the company’s factory for the world, but dominating China’s internal market is also crucial to the company’s future.