Asia is now home to the greater part of the world’s population. According to UN data, of the world’s 30 largest cities, 21 are in Asia. By one year from now, Asia will likely end up being home to half of the world's middle class (individuals living in households with every day per capita earnings being between $10 and $100 at 2005 purchasing power parity). Since 2007, Asians have been purchasing a greater number of autos and trucks than people in any other region — by around 2030 they will purchase the same number of vehicles as the rest of the world together.
“Now the continent finds itself at the centre of global economic activity,”- exclaimed Narendra Modi, prime minister of India, during the last annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. “In fact, we are now living through what many have termed the Asian Century,” he said. As the “Center of gravity” shifts in geopolitics, Asia is believed to become (if not already) the new driving force of the world economy.
Ian Goldin, an Oxford University professor, has mentioned that China alongside developing countries in Asia are the bleeding edge of economic growth. He expressed his thoughts that the expansion of the world’s second largest economy to stay “robust” at 6% for the following decade, while surrounding emerging markets will intently mirror that. “I think we’re seeing a rebalancing, a historical rebalancing,” said Goldin. “The center of gravity is clearly moving to Asia. This is a good thing. We’ll have more global growth where it’s needed, in developing countries.”
The rapid industrialization that occured in the second half of the twentieth century led to a massive internal migration and urbanization of many East Asian countries. As a result, we can see that seven, out of the top ten largest cities in the world, are located on Asian soil with Tokyo (Japan) being in the first place and Delhi (India) trailing in the second. As the twenty-first century progresses we are likely to witness a much higher ranking for many of the regional urban areas.
With Beijing as its most rapidly growing economic region, Asia became the place of residence of a large number of billionaires, such as Masayoshi Son, Mukesh Ambani, Jack Ma, Ma Huateng and others.
According to Knight Frank's Wealth Report this region is the largest club for wealthy men, with their number set to increase to more than 1,000 individuals by 2023, accounting for more than one third of the global billionaire population of 2,696. According to the latest data, India leads in terms of forecast UHNWI (Ultra-high net-worth individuals). The country is expected to achieve a growth of 39% growth, followed by the Philippines (38%) and China (35%). Of the 59 countries and territories included in the wealth forecasts, eight top-ten states are from Asia.
The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution has given opportunity for many countries to compete in industries requiring less investment in terms of capital and labor. The rising tigers of the East are ranking very high in terms of number of startups per capita and all that can be contributed to their entrepreneurship-nurturing environment. Out of the top ten most startup friendly countries in the world (Hansen&Company, 2020), three are located on the Asian continent. Singapore, South Korea and Japan fall into that category, with the later being ranked as first.
As more and more Asian states go from developing into developed, we will likely see them put even higher on the global startup stage. With their much younger and ambitious population, growing domestic markets and ever-increasing R&D spending, they are destined to lead the world in a number of innovative sectors.