31 May 2010 00:01 [Source: ICB]
DESPITE THE recent extreme volatility in global financial markets, Asia's prospects for long-term economic growth remain rock solid.
No doubt there will be bumps along the way - and some of them big ones. The Asian economic crisis of 1997-1998 hit economies hard.
Today the European debt crisis is threatening the nascent recovery from the worldwide recession of 2008-2009. Plus, rising tensions between North and South Korea are roiling global stock markets.
But the long-term trend for Asia is clearly up, led by China and India.
"This century belongs to Asia. Increasing per-capita income among the 2.5bn people in China and India will generate huge demand for goods and services for an extended period of time," said Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani in his keynote address at the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference in Mumbai, in mid-May. "This will result in a jump in demand for petrochemicals and chemicals."
But we also face challenges from unprecedented financial volatility. The world being more interconnected, we will feel more shocks to the system, and more often.
So it's critical not to lose sight of the long-term picture. The opportunities are huge, and require investments of similar magnitude for those with the vision and courage.
No doubt there will be bumps along the way - and some big ones
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