At present, the world is witnessing a myriad of challenges ranging from climatic issues, disruption in lives by technology and political crisis around the globe. These challenges require multi-lateral solutions, paving the path of opportunity for the emergence of the Asian continent.
In the late 1960s, Asia was classified as the poorest continent in the world, as per income levels, and by 2016 (UN data), it accounted for 30% of world income, over one-third of world trade and its income per capita converging towards the world average. The re-emergence of Asia is going to be one of the most significant happenings of 2020. The Financial Times predicts that in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, Asian economies will become larger than the rest of the world combined for the first time since the 19th century. This period of growth will be ensured by strong emerging relationships amidst countries of the continent. In the recent past, India, China, South Korea, and Japan have joined hands-on collaborative projects to boost growth in their respective economies, thereby strengthening their relationships.
Lying at the heart of the continent is the world’s second largest economy. China will undoubtedly play a central role in turning the possibility of ‘the Asian Century’ to reality. It will assume the central responsibility of acting as a catalyst in integrating the continent together and promoting political leaders to work together towards making Asia a model for the world to look up to and replicate. One of the key initiatives taken by China towards integrating the continent and pushing for collective growth is the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to “break the bottleneck in Asian connectivity”.
Initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative will allow the continent to adopt a more unified approach towards dealing with global challenges; opening opportunities to pooling resources, manpower and expertise to reach solutions that not just bring benefits to those living in Asia but also creating a template to be adopted by those around the globe.
Asia as a continent faces numerous challenges, due to both geographical and historical factors but efforts to overcome these barriers and promoting a unified identity to reap benefits of joint cooperation are gaining momentum, making the continent a true land of opportunity, in the coming future.
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