Asia has developed from being the manufacturing plant of the world to becoming a major driver for global economic growth. The Asian growth trajectory is projected to continue, resulting in noteworthy economic, political, social, resource and environmental challenges. However, the burning question we need to address is – can Asia afford, for the next 50 years, to grow its level of consumption at the same rate as Western nations have done for the past 50 years?
Deloitte recently reported that that if every one of the new consuming middle class ‘were to adopt the historic consumption patterns of the average citizen in the United Kingdom, three planet Earths would be required to sustain them – five if they were to live like the average North American.’ Asian business leaders will have to face the consequent challenges. A lack of solutions to these challenges will have a devastating effect on the rest of the world. At the same time, Asian business leaders need to assess if the Anglo-American or European model is suitable for Asian countries, societies and businesses, and to find new ways to mitigate poverty as well as provide directions for a sustainable way of life. Read more