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2017
Asia Needs more Dialogue
Solutions to urban pollution may prove complex
Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
China needs to lead in new multi-stakeholder world
China’s B&R initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
New wave of robots will be beneficial to all
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
Time is right for Chinese firms to invest in Europe
Robots to the rescue for China?
Asian Multinationals are Going Global, But to Where?
China ratchets forward with energy efforts
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
Bridging managerial gaps involves trust-building
China well-placed to power its future through green technology advances
China's new 'springtime' is here
2016
China’s moves show it’s banking on the future
Mindset for action at the G20 summit will be determined by Chinese presidency
Chinese head-hunting intensifies for rare managers that can steer overseas firms
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
Is it time to be prudent and consider austerity policies again?
What will we do if we have no oil?
Unlock talent by finding the right fit for a person
The benefits are real and tangible
Trade along China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ won’t succeed without the currency of trust
Reasons for optimism about the long term
2015
Can big oil go green and win?
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
Combating Idleness and Deprivation
How China can be a model of food sustainability for the developing world
Kyoto II – Is it a Done Deal?
A meeting of the two largest economic powers
Why China will experience a 'soft' landing
Beware of superstitions
The Elephant and Dragon move ahead
G-7 target on fossil fuels raises many questions
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
China’s resurgence – the ‘normal new’
Wanted: A managerial culture that embraces cultural differences
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
The New Normal for China and India
2014
China's infrastructure push offers a sure track to better growth
US-China climate pact a good start, but not quite enough
Rethink the human’s place in the ‘digital revolution’
China springs a carbon surprise
Infrastructure - the invisible hand in full view
Dialogue vital for survival of Iraqi nation
China must nurture a new generation of beautiful minds
Great expectations in China and India
GM Cereals – The Pros and Corns
Time to be Honest about Our Energy Prospects
Weathering the Storm of Climate Change
Making a Big Decision? Beware of Your Biases
West Deserves Better Logistics Infrastructure
Digital Currencies do Represent the Future
From 'Printed' Houses to Wooden Skyscrapers
It’s time to bail out our schools, not our firms
Solution to India’s housing shortage – print new ones!
And the most promising green technologies of 2014 are ...
Transport infrastructure key to domestic, export growth
Oil stopgaps: Not worth risking
2013
Why the US should grant Edward Snowden amnesty
May we be more optimistic!
China headed for another massive social experiment?
A dialogue that worked
Yes, politicians deserve vacations - because we benefit
NPOs, NGOs invaluable as creators of dialogue
Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
Chinese strategists make right moves for growth
2012
Preparing for tomorrow
Austerity or growth?
Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
Beware of the business cycle?
An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
Driving towards a green future
Waiting for springtime
Preserve or Perish
Startlingly similar Asia policy for Obama, Romney
Globalisation remains an irresistible trend
Google has the edge in smartphone war
U.S. Braces for China's Rise
Mankind’s General Scourge
The summer holidays are over and nothing has changed!
Put the hidden trillions to work
Making sense of India’s woes and wonders
Storm in a teacup!
Let’s give bad bankers a venue to admit their sins
News is about depth, not puff or velocity
Booming India, but too few toilets
Delayed Court decisions doesn't mean one may continue to play 'Great Game'
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
Big polluters can lead in forging common purpose
The weighty issue of choosing a leader
EU-India Relations - Facing similar challenges
Educating with a goal
The Judicial Malaise
We are growing out, but not growing up
EU´s retrenchment enigma
Urbulence in the Eurozone and the effect on SMEs
Skolkovo May Help Russia to Diversify
Make things more effective
Tapping into the Commonwealth connection
Innovative models for public finance
Facebook revolution but Indian style
The feel-good factor
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
Shafts of sunlight
What webs we weave
As performers go to Davos, the circus steals the show
Can we control the politicians?
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
China firms should go for win-win in overseas ventures
Of procrastination...
Making sense of profiteering
Truth about financial mess must be laid bare
Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
Excising the cancer of global corruption
Education, a critical asset
Arab uprisings set in motion forces of creative destruction
A new era of change
We must ensure better education for all
Beijing wary of bankrolling a lost cause
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
Why India's Role in the Global Economy is Still Work in Progress
Its the leadership, stupid!
Reverse globalisation: The new buzzword
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
By Frank-Jürgen Richter

Business Times, 21 September 2011

 

It was Henry Ford, a prominent American industrialist and the founder of Ford Motor Company, who was alleged to have stated '. . . history is bunk'. But Asean does not, and did not, arrive on a green and fertile land with no legacy to encumber its progress. Its member states had, and still have, many individual programmes for their own development and continued identity. What therefore is needed is effective leadership promoting a strongly focused vision for the future. But its situation today is cloudy.

First, Asean is not the only 'local' regional group. It grew to be the Asean+3 (with China, Japan and South Korea, set up in 1997) which undoubtedly helped stabilise the regional financial crisis of that time, and a plurilateral free trade agreement set up with Australia and New Zealand in 2008.

Yet there are other groups such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc, formed in 1980) that have had limited regional success since most of their group members are involved in some conflict with each other notwithstanding their commonalities: And so indeed are some members of Asean.

India, in Saarc but not in Asean, is an important case, nearly having a two-digit growth but also with 300 million poor people hoping for a better life. India is a major beneficiary of globalisation, and a major driver in the future of globalisation: Its role should be regarded as an opportunity for all.

Second, there are inhibitions within Asean that slow its smooth development. Asean could not fully achieve a resounding economic partnership with India, partly because of India's independent interactions with members of Asean, and partly because Asean is also cooperating with China - India's rival for regional supremacy.

Asean's unfulfilled promise is illustrated by its interactions with China which strategically deals with Asean member states while pursuing its own long-term interests. Thus Asean plans dialogues on many fronts: of course with China - creating better land links by rail and road, and keeping truly open the sea-ways of the South China Sea; with its calls for economic and trade openness, and for a non-nuclear pact.

As Asean is committed to 'growth by trade', their discussions could be fruitful. However, the fast-paced Western world becomes fretful over the Asian, and Asean's politeness and slow dialogues maintaining 'face' within its membership.

Third, there are major difficulties for Asean posed by groups elsewhere in the world. The Brics - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - exert global influence, being economically quite 'well off' so they provide extended opportunities for investment.

In fact, the developed world is seeing what may be described as 'reverse globalisation' where both physical and service sector work is passing more into the developing nations. This has to be a nuanced investment as too rapid a change will bring a generation of hardship to those in the developed world as they grapple with this new reality.

Nevertheless entrepreneurs, investors and consumers should enter a true partnership relationship with Asean, India and China making reverse globalisation a win-win proposition for our global economy.

In fact, Mr Ford said '. . . history is more or less bunk. It's tradition. We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present, and the only history that is worth a tinker's damn is the history that we make today.'

This is what is needed within Asean: moving towards a more assertive leadership supported by an efficient governance structure able to act across the whole region that would define daily progress, and be able to describe its future in ways that give hope to all of its 600 million people; and show to them and the rest of the world that its strength lies in cooperation.

 

The writer is chairman of Horasis, an independent international organisation that provides thought leadership on ideas for a sustainable future

 


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