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Sir Gordon Wu recently spoke in Hong Kong to the Wharton Global Alumni Forum about the trajectory of China’s growth and opportunities that lie in the country’s rapid urbanization.

An introduction to an edited transcript of Wu’s remarks, published on www.knowledgeatwharton.com, notes that when Wu graduated in 1958 from Princeton University’s School of Engineering with a degree in civil engineering, the Eisenhower administration was inaugurating an ambitious investment in the nation’s highway system. This in turn led to a real estate boom and the rise of suburbia in the 1960s.

When China opened its economy in the 1970s, Wu argued — often to skeptical ears — that the key to a vibrant future lay in building China’s own robust infrastructure. Wu’s company Hopewell Holdings pioneered the building of highways, power plants and bridges in China and Hong Kong and has become one of Asia’s largest civil construction firms.

You can learn what Wu sees in China’s future (and also learn how he came up for the name for his company) by reading the entire transcript. In a recent post commenting on Wu’s remarks, blogger Atanu Dey asks, “Who’s India’s Wu?,” sparking a lively discussion about the future of India.

By the way, when Wu recently completed a record-breaking $100 million gift to Princeton University, President Shirley Tilghman noted that his “generosity has touched every corner of the University.”

 
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