Pres­i­dent of NBAS, Leo Stornes re­flects on Asia’s grow­ing im­por­tance.

Norway-Asia Business Review - - Contents -

Asia’s grow­ing im­por­tance within the global econ­omy is vis­i­ble for us all, we are wit­ness­ing the rapid trans­for­ma­tion and also the chal­lenges that comes with in­dus­trial growth.

The World Bank fore­cast that by 2050 half of the global GDP will come from East Asia, with the cur­rent ur­ban­i­sa­tion process the met­ro­pol­i­tans in Asia are ex­pected to ad 800 mil­lion res­i­dents by 2020.

Mid­dle class is ex­pand­ing by on av­er­age 17% yearly, con­tribut­ing in­creased pur­chas­ing power and com­pa­nies need to bet­ter un­der­stand how the dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion process en­able busi­nesses to lever­age on the op­por­tu­ni­ties and changes in pur­chas­ing pat­terns, with mo­bile use on the rise - a gen­er­a­tion skipped the PC al­to­gether and went straight to mo­bile de­vices. This re­lates not just to con­tent con­sump­tion but dig­i­tal pur­chases and the en­tire cus­tomer jour­ney linked to­wards dig­i­tal en­gage­ment strate­gies, com­pa­nies of­ten have to re­de­fine how this trans­for­ma­tion process im­pact busi­nesses en­gage strate­gies with con­sumers in Asia.

The en­vi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges in Asia are enor­mous, East Asia be­ing the worlds largest con­trib­u­tor to green­house gas emis­sions, ac­count­ing for 1/3 of global car­bon diox­ide emis­sions. We ob­serve a drive and en­thu­si­asm to­wards re­new­able/smart en­ergy sources and op­por­tu­ni­ties for Nor­we­gian com­pa­nies to be part of the jour­ney in Asia. China show will­ing­ness to lead and be a driver for cli­mate change agenda’s af­ter Paris Agree­ment 2016. Pol­lu­tion is of­ten at haz­ardous lev­els within the largest cities in Asia forc­ing ad­min­is­tra­tions to en­able a change for bet­ter air qual­ity.

Rapidly chang­ing de­mo­graph­ics and an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion has pro­found eco­nomic and so­cial im­pli­ca­tions for many Asian na­tions. Al­beit a very con­trast­ing sit­u­a­tion, ex­am­ple Ja­pan at cur­rent hav­ing a de­mo­graphic time bomb cou­pled with low fer­til­ity rates, to­day 68.000 cen­te­nar­i­ans and the av­er­age age of 47 years. Other coun­tries in Asia have a low av­er­age age, as Myan­mar, Philip­pines and In­done­sia hav­ing around 28 and even lower me­dian age. Ergo its im­por­tant for any com­pany’s growth strate­gies in Asia to con­sider de­mo­graphic trends within the na­tions re­spec­tively.

An in­creased num­ber of star­tups from Nor­way are com­ing to Asia to de­fine the blue oceans and where they can de­fine a mar­ket for their value prepo­si­tions. Re­cently 5 star­tups within medtech and el­der care from Nor­way par­tic­i­pated at a pitch­ing com­pe­ti­tion in Sin­ga­pore, its no longer just within core in­dus­tries as ship­ping, mar­itime and oil re­lated seg­ments Nor­we­gian en­trepreneurs examine op­tions for Asia growth. In many re­spects en­cour­ag­ing, in­creas­ing the scope for Nor­we­gian busi­nesses hav­ing in mind the mega trends in Asia, as ex­am­ple the chang­ing de­mo­graph­ics and how new smart en­ergy and tech will im­pact Asia’s fu­ture.

Leonard Opitz Stornes

Pres­i­dent The Nor­we­gian Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion Sin­ga­pore


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