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, regional integration and economic opportunity. And some are met with opposition at home and abroad, especially when narratives collide or words and actions don't match.
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, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Delhi, Dubai and the other Asian boom towns.
The Asian Century has been predicted for decades and is upon us now. The change it brings is profound. With the future being Asian, the future of communications is Asian, too. How we interact with one another, the tools and channels we use, the content we share and the new sense of global connectedness this creates: nothing will remain the same. Take WeChat, TikTok and Zoom. Invented by Asians, these apps changed our lives in the shortest span of time. That 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, for 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.