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Edited by Henry Wai-chung Yeung
Chapter 1: Unpacking the Business of Asian Business
Henry Wai-chung Yeung The rise of Asia as an important region for global business has been widely recognized as one of the most signiﬁcant economic phenomena in the new millennium. In his February 2005 speech delivered at Lancaster University’s Management School, Stephen Green, the Group CEO of HSBC Holdings plc – the global bank that arguably knows Asia best – noted that the rise of Asia ‘will fundamentally reshape the world’s economic landscape in the decades ahead . . . At HSBC we believe developing markets will provide about half the growth in demand in the world economy over the next 25 to 30 years. And we believe that China and India will be core to that . . . I would go further and say that the economic modernisation of Asia is the most seismic consequence yet of the globalization of human commerce’ (Green, 2005: 1, 4). Many business and economic indicators have conclusively shown the superlative upward trajectories of Asian ﬁrms and Asian economies: the number of leading Asian ﬁrms listed in Fortune Global 500 is growing rapidly; the GDP per capita of Asian economies is increasing dramatically, and thereby creating huge domestic consumer markets; Asia is attracting a large proportion of the world’s foreign direct investment, and becoming a favourite investment destination for global corporations; China and India alone are contributing to a substantial portion of the world’s manufactured products and IT services; and the list of achievements by Asian ﬁrms and Asian economies goes on and on. While substantive academic studies of Asian...
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