Eastern promise – yield reality

András Cserháti
Senior Product Manager

Without Asia, there would be only a tortuous recovery from the crisis

Asia is the most populous continent, counting more than 4 billion inhabitants, or more than 60% of the Earth’s population. It is not only in this respect that it leads the world however, as if we narrow our definition of Asia to exclude Japan, then it is a continent that is emerging from the global economic crisis considerably more rapidly than any other region. Even more encouraging is the fact that in the meantime Asia has outgrown its initial export-driven growth model. We may be witness in the coming years to a sort of paradigm shift, where, for the first time since the Asian crisis of 1997, internal demand in the region (particularly in the Chinese market) may take over as the key driver of Asian growth. The latest prognoses envisage annual GDP growth in the region of 8.4% this year, and 8.2% in 2011. By comparison, the developed world – and even the developing world – lags far behind, having seen respective rates of GDP growth of around 2% and 6.6% in 2009, and looking ahead to expected annual growth figures of 2.2% and 6.4%, respectively, in 2010. With expected GDP growth of 10.5% this year and 9.8% in 2011, China is indisputably the driving force in the region. Is there anything that could stop this steamroller?

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