When you travel around Asia and see the world from an Asian perspective, you really notice the looming presence of “The West” in every conversation about the future. In very crude terms, you could define “The West” as being represented by two blocs:

  • AUKUS – the so-called “Trilateral Security Partnership Between Australia, UK and US”
  • EU – the European Union comprising 27 countries and governing common economic, social, and security policies

You should also add Canada and New Zealand to this grouping to complete the full picture.

“The West” makes up only 14% of the world’s population but 73% of its income and over half of global GDP. It’s starting to feel like an ageing parent losing its grip on the next generation whilst clinging to the foundations that existed before the younger ones were old enough to care.

We have to be realistic about the future. It will look very different to the past and will be dominated by newcomers who are unknown, unproven and, to many, unworthy. Most of them will be in Asia. It is ‘The Asian Century’ after all?

Goldman Sachs recognised the changes taking place back in 2001 when Jim O’Neill came up with the ‘BRIC’ acronym (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Whilst Russia has fallen by the wayside (for now), the future will be dominated by the huge populations of China and India, with Indonesia and Brazil close behind (see latest Goldman Sachs projections in the chart). Some of us will still be alive to witness this changing landscape in 2050. Not so many in 2075.

Like all ageing parents, it’s time for us to accept and celebrate the rise of the next generation and engage with them fully to ensure that they don’t mess it up as badly as we did!