The Asian Century has been predicted for decades and is upon us now. Cities and entire regions across Asia are rapidly modernizing. Billions are being invested in roads, ports, railways, energy, AI, healthcare, jobs and education. And it's not just replacing the old but upgrading to world standards. The investments are drivers of inclusive growth, global and regional integration, and economic opportunity. And some are met with opposition at home and abroad because the positive change it brings is either not properly explained or words and actions collide.
For anyone doing business in and with Asia, and for Asian entities that engage with the rest of the world, now is the time to revisit long held beliefs and assumptions. Getting it right quickly is vital as progress can't wait. Certainly not in Shenzhen, Dubai and the other Asian boom towns.
Communicators have a special role to play as audiences are better connected than ever. How we interact with one another, the tools and channels we use, the content we share and the new sense of connectivity this creates; all that has already changed dramatically. Take WeChat, TikTok and Zoom. Invented by Asians, these apps have transformed our lives in the shortest span of time. And this is just the beginning.
Purpose and shared values take center stage in any environment where rapid, disruptive change has become the new norm, especially in the Covid and coming post-Covid era. That elevates the role of diplomacy and strategic communications and triggers a rise in demand for new content, local, regional and global engagement strategies, transparency, dispute-resolving mechanisms and open and constructive dialogue. Those who see this and act now are going to define this new era.