One news theme I’ve asked our journalists to be alert to this year is the shift in power and emphasis from est to East.
The rise of China’s economic power during 30 years of reform and opening to the world is just one manifestation of this; the knowledge and service powerhouse that India has come in a globalised world is another. At Davos this year I’m moderating a panel on Asian innovation that will surely highlight software advances in Japan, Korea and Thailand as well.
I’m convinced the current global economic crisis must lead to a fundamental reassessment of how power and influence is expressed through the world, from manufacturing and service oriented Asia through the oil-rich Gulf.
This isn’t because of “decoupling” – that notion so prominent in discussion circles a year or so ago that said things like China’s economic boom could make up for any economic weakness in the U.S. That idea has been well and truly discredited as trade and money flows have caused bank after bank, nation after nation and economy after economy to buckle and bend in the current crisis.
No, it’s precisely because of “coupling” that the world will have to rethink radically its governance and regulatory and influence structures.