I have been interested in economics since my primary school days, when I enjoyed playing computer games, such as “Lemonade Stand” and “Roller Coaster Tycoon”. I shifted this passion from the virtual world to reality in 2009, when my friend and I started a blogshop selling second-hand music albums. It was difficult to generate sales and my friend soon gave up. However, I persevered and over the next two years transformed the blogshop into a top supplier for stylish watches among the nation’s blogshops.
This experience gave me a genuine interest in economics, as I came to realise that operating a blogshop takes much more than creativity and dedication. There is a need for economics knowledge—particularly microeconomics, to understand how firms compete in a market to generate profits. Since blogshops operate in a monopolistically competitive market, for a blogshop to remain competitive, it is crucial to undertake intensive product development and promotion. Armed with my experience in handling an actual business and the economics knowledge I had learnt in college, I took part in the HCI-GSK Entrepreneurship Best Business Idea and was one of the finalists after going through several rounds of product innovation presentation. This not only improved my communication and creative thinking skills, it also gave me an opportunity to learn from business entrepreneurs the importance of the price mechanism in business decisions to ensure that a business is successful through maximising revenues, sales and profits, depending on the respective goal of each firm.
Beyond economics in school, it is fascinating for me to have observed the recent economic development in China. It is fast becoming the second largest economy in the world, just as it was during the great Ming Dynasty. During those times, silver taels were abundant and transactions often involved millions of pounds of silver.Then, China enjoyed sustained and stable economic growth from AD 1402 to AD1622, according to “China’s GDP in the Ming Dynasty”, an economics paper by H.Guan and D. D. Li. This was made possible as China’s economy was carefully controlled and managed by an emperor with absolute power. However today, despite a similar level of control, China faces serious problems of income inequality and inflation, caused by rapid economic growth, the printing of fiat money in the West and the central government placing economic growth as the highest priority for provincial governments. Due to complexities in the economy today, it may not be a realistic aspiration for China to replicate its past glory, as various economies are closely linked by globalisation, but still more stable economic growth is beneficial. Hence, there seems to be an urgent need to use government policies to further dampen the government’s stimulus-driven high growth in order to achieve long-term sustainable economic growth. It would interest me to see if these policies can solve the problems of income inequality and inflation and also avoid a possible economic hard-landing.
As I am very interested in the financial aspect of economics, I would also like to take up finance related courses in the economics syllabus when possible. Last year, I was the treasurer for my team in a Citibank-YMCA fundraising project, drawing up budget plans and dealing with financial statements, and we raised $7000 for the The Association for the Deaf. Other than doing my part for the community, I learnt the basics of finance, including managing resources and acquiring funds.
I hope to study economics in university. I am inspired to apply my learning to my own society and region, especially given the fact that my city is one of the world's top financial centres. With the necessary aptitude and interest, I wish to further my economics knowledge at degree level.