President of NBAS, Leo Stornes reflects on Asia’s growing importance.
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
PHOTO: NORWEGIAN BUSINESS ASSOCIATION SINGAPORE (NBAS)