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The Asianized world has arrived

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SHANGHAI – In the 19th century, the world was Europeanized. In the 20th century, it was Americanized. Now, it is being Asianized — and much faster than you may think.

Asia’s rise has been swift. Home to more than half of the world’s population, the region has climbed from low- to middle-income status within a single generation. By 2040, it is likely to generate more than 50 percent of world GDP, and could account for nearly 40 percent of global consumption.

New McKinsey Global Institute research shows the extent to which the global center of gravity is shifting to Asia. Today, the region has an increasing global share of trade, capital, people, knowledge, transport, culture and resources. Of eight types of global cross-border flows, only waste is flowing in the opposite direction, reflecting the decision by China and other Asian countries to reduce imports of trash from developed countries.

Asia now accounts for around one-third of global trade in goods, up from about a quarter 10 years ago. Over roughly the same period, its share of global airline travelers has risen from 33 percent to 40 percent and its share of capital flows has increased from 13 percent to 23 percent.

Those flows have fueled growth in Asia’s cities. The region is home to 21 of the world’s 30 largest and four of the 10 most visited. And some of Asia’s lesser-known cities are now also on investors’ radar. In Yangon, Myanmar’s commercial capital, greenfield foreign direct investment in knowledge-intensive........

© The Japan Times