How can Asia narrow the gap between countries’ access to technologies, and leapfrog to sustainable, inclusive growth?

  • March 15, 2022
  • Video
Anand Swaminathan, Senior Partner and Global Leader of Build by McKinsey, describes Asia’s unique strengths and how technology can play a role in unlocking sustainable and inclusive growth in the region.

In many aspects, Asia is leading the world. We have more than half the world’s internet users. And our mobile penetration in ecommerce at 74 percent is double that of Europe at 35 percent and North America at 31 percent. We lead startup investments and IP creation in one-third of the world’s key technologies.

But the growth has been concentrated. More than two-thirds, about 70%, of Asia’s technology hotspots are in two countries: China and India. To achieve sustainable, inclusive growth across the region, Asia must embrace its strengths, which are speed, collaboration, and resilience.

The speed at which Asian companies and consumers have innovated and adopted technology, especially during the pandemic is unmatched by other regions. We must keep this pace post-pandemic. Collaboration, whether it’s corporations working in partnership within ecosystems, or countries cooperating to balance strengths and weaknesses, can facilitate stronger knowledge flows and productivity.

And we have to make supply chains more resilient in what could be an increasingly multipolar world in innovative technologies and geographies. This is a priority if companies are to access the full variety of opportunities to unlock the growth for Asia.

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