Numerous companies such as Google, Microsoft, Toyota, Sony and Nokia have benefited from global operations during the past decade. A central component of this success has been the expansion of their supply chains into a number of emerging economies, particularly China and India. These countries serve as inexpensive bases for the production of goods and services on the supply side and have also become important markets for finished products on the demand side.
When the current downturn began, it was tempting to believe that the rapid growth of their internal markets would insulate China and India. The realisation is rapidly dawning, however, that in a highly interconnected business and financial world no country will be completely immune. Most recently, China has reported a growth rate of 6.8 per cent for the fourth quarter of 2008 while India has predicted a growth rate of 7 per cent for 2009. Both these figures are much lower than the growth in previous years.