Yes, says the latest HSBC report a PTI despatch says.
The financial wealth in the Asian region is likely to overtake the American wealth, says this report.
Being a high profile HSBC report there is much attention being given. An estimated 80 trillion dollar, more than tripled since 2001 and if the current trend persists the growth will be faster in India than in China says this report.
Asia, excluding Japan and China and India, consists of small states and they count about 10 nations, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, the largest of the ten and the others, Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam and Laos, including Brunei, they also make up the member of the new entry, ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations, a bloc of some 600 million people. The ASEAN nations are getting their acts together, they have met only recently and they have articulated their vision for a greater co-operation and sharing of information so that new investments, new technologies and new goods and services that could be traded internally as well as externally.
There is this new optimism, with the new tensions also contributing to their new cohesion, owing to the China’s new claims in the South China Sea, with Philippines, Vietnam and others claiming their own spheres of influence.
Though China is the bigger economy, China as a leader of the Asean community is more feared and more disliked and Japan on the other hand is seen as a more reliable investment partner.
When we were there recently in the Philippines, on the very day the Japanese Prime Minister Mr.Abe was in manila and he was right there in from of our hotel, Hotel Manila laying a wreath to the Philippines freedom fighter!
Mr.Abe is very active and he is everywhere and he was just only in India as recently as the latest Republic Day as the chief guest, The Asia of today is no more caught up in any colonial legacy, the past is behind and the new future is what these new Asian countries are looking for.
The present state of affairs in many of these countries is far from stable and happy. There is continued violence and protests by anti-Democracy protestors in Thailand.
This is unfortunate for the present Prime Minister Yungluck Shinawatra is fighting the opposition in a democratic manner. She had announced a new election on February 2 and in which her party came almost successful. She was able draw more than 50 per cent of the votes. Yet, there is resistance to her continuance. The exact nature of the reasons not known but it is evident there is an undercurrent of jealousy against the Shnawatra family clans who have done well in business and now in politics too.
The Bangkok-based business elite (an entity whose various facets need to be further analysed; closely loyal to the monarch, a unique institutioned supposed to be the longest in the world. And the military too seems to have tasted blood, so to say and the army had accustomed to intervene often and it is feared this time to the Army could intervene if the protests don’t subside.
The Asean, though a non-political association, must however must rally to the larger vision. Unless democracy is strongly advocated this region would be serious handicapped in its economic pursuits.
However, the new study by the HSBC might have a bearing on the thinking and articulation of the leaders of these nations.
This is the brief text of the further portion of the report:
One point for India in this region. There is every reason that India must articulate its South East Asian policy.
There are many dimensions. One is strictly, cultural and non-political.
The South East Asian nations have strong Indian, Hindu imprint in various aspects like architecture, temples, both Hindu as well as Buddhist temples. So, India can play a cultural diplomacy part in education exchange and cultural exchanges.
So, there would be more people to people contacts.
There was some such activism in Pandit Nehru days.
Now, under the new regime in Delhi we seem to have fallen back.
We have to revive this student and people and artists exchanges.
The political aspect is to resolve the issues through mutual discussions.
One over-riding goal should be the preservation of democratic forms of governance and the promotion of individual freedoms of citizens and media freedoms.
All these three components can go a long way.
The economic co-operation angle is also very important.
In rice exports, there can be much more co-ordination than so far.
As for the new tensions over the China claims in South China Sea there can be imaginative co-operations.
India has a large role to play in the South East Asian region and help to promote economic growth collectively.