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A roundtable in the conference “THE RISE OF ASIA IN GLOBAL HISTORY AND PERSPECTIVE: Covid-19 from Asia to the world: what assessment and what perspective for a common future?” organised by the University Le Havre Normandy, France, February 9-11, 2022
The roundtable is open to individual and group paper presentations. Those willing to present their papers are invited to submit online their proposals until December 31, 2021. The introduction and the guidelines to submit proposal are available online at https://bandungspirit.org/
CONTEXT AND QUESTIONS
1) Macro Trend; 2) Consumption Trend; 3) Priority Sectors; 4) Global Major Changes.
1) MACRO TREND
• The Covid-19 crisis could accelerate the shifting global balance towards Asia.
• China is a relative winner in the post Covid-19 world, with its GDP winning two years over developed economies (compared to the pre-crisis long-term path).
• This context, along with free trade agreements, will help strengthen Asia-Pacific trade integration.
2) CONSUMPTION TREND
Across Asia-Pacific, an already strong preference for digital, contactless consumption is rapidly growing and likely to continue unabated. The pandemic has disrupted consumer mindsets and priorities when choosing products, with shifts toward safer, healthier, and more trusted products. More than 80% of consumers in China (81%) and Indonesia (86%) are more aware and cautious about physical health, in contrast to some countries in Europe, such as Denmark (46%), Norway (46%) and Sweden (44%). While Japanese consumers have become increasingly conservative, Chinese consumers, adopting a “Hibernate and spend” mindset, will pay a premium for products that promote health and wellness.
3) PRIORITY SECTORS (Southeast Asia)
• The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economies of Southeast Asia has increased the urgency for structural reform to support recovery and a return to sustainable, broadbased growth.
• Post-COVID-19 tourism will focus more on health and safety, attract tourists from nearby countries and domestically, and shift toward more environmentally sustainable practices.
• The agro-processing sector will move toward adding value and increasing productivity, improving its resilience, and upgrading supply chains.
• Targeting new markets, adopting new technologies, and shortening the supply chain can help support the recovery of the garments sector.
• The development of the electronics sector can be promoted through enhancing special economic zones and investing in human capital.
• Developing a digital trade sector will require a clear industry road map combined with the appropriate regulatory framework and strong connectivity.
4) GLOBAL MAJOR CHANGES: what impacts on business with Asia?
The world witness major changes in the following fields:
• Gender and women’s issues (feminist movements, ecofeminism, gender justice, “depatriarcalisation”, LGBT, MeToo...)
• Ecology (climate change, pandemic, green cities, green capitalism, eco-renewable energy, plastic, waste, pollutions, eco-socialism, vegetarianism, veganism...)
• Digital universe (information, communication, media, metaverse, GAFAM, Ali Baba, bitcoin, cryptocurrency, fake news, artificial intelligence, cyber-economy, cyber-crimes, cyber-war…)
• Biotechnology (medical-agricultural-industrial-environmental-biotechnology, genetic engineering, cloning, GMO, vaccines…)
• Demography (national-regional-international uneven growth, aging societies, over population, ethnic-religious-conflicts, urbanisation, migration…)
• New phase of decolonisation (counter hegemony, decolonisation of mind, Black lives matter, Palestine lives matter, anti-racism, anti-occupation, anti-apartheid, anti-war...)
How these changes affect business world, especially with and/or in Asia? That is the question.
Darwis Khudori, Director of Master's Degree in Exchanges with Asie, Faculty of International Affairs, University Le Havre Normandy, France