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News Digest

Why Asia

The first full meeting of the Asia Task Force was held on 27 October 2005. It is made up of members from the private sector and from academia and was established to work with Government to help British companies win a significantly bigger share of business in the world's fastest growing markets in Asia.

Lord Powell of Bayswater, Co-Chairman of the Asia Task Force gave a speech at a Business in Asia meeting of experts in London on 16th February 2011. Some of the salient remarks were:

"You really don't have to be a genius to see that Asia's markets are where the real opportunities lie. Economies some of which are growing in double figures. Rapidly rising populations of aspiring middle class consumers. Huge infrastructure projects. And an appetite for the things which Britain is good at. Sophisticated aircraft engines. Advanced technology of every sort. Banking and finance. Retail. Education. Food. Consultancies.”

That's not just a temporary phenomenon. It's a pretty safe bet that Asia's growth is set to last for the long-term. Okay, there will be short term ups and downs. But all the factors are there for sustained  growth: urbanisation, rising living standards, demand for the quality of life and life-style that were previously the preserve of our own countries. The scale of Asia's economies is breath-taking, with China overtaking Japan as the world's second largest economy, India coming up rapidly behind many other Asian countries benefitting from the regional upsurge, several of them like Indonesia huge markets in their own right. We really are entering a new world with the balance of economic power and wealth shifting inexorably towards Asia. The prizes will go to those who are quickest to understand the significance of that, and make Asia their priority for their businesses.

British companies can't afford to lag behind and miss out on the opportunities.

Asia is regaining the economic dominance it enjoyed a millennium ago - but it still has some way to go.  This videograhic (Asia's growing economic power) from The Economist, shows the economic potential of the rising east.


For two centuries Asians have largely been bystanders in world history, reacting to surges of Western commerce, thought, and power.  Singapore's former United Nations Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani -- whom Foreign Policy magazine ranked as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world -- declares that era is over and the West must embrace rather than resist this structural shift.  This video (Asia vs the West) is an informative look at this important topic.