Discussion Questions

Name and discuss some of the key opportunities arising from Asia’s strengths and challenges.

  • Suggested reply: One of the key challenges, yet also an opportunity for Asia from a business perspective, is its diversity. This chapter provides insights, and indicates that they include, among others, cultural, demographic, social and environmental issues, to name a few. Students should be invited to discuss what this means in terms of:

i.    Sustainability contributions

ii.   Disaster resilience capacity building

iii. Climate change-focused solutions

iv.  Stimulation of start-up eco-systems and SME growth

v.   Investments, for example, in energy efficiency, innovative waste reduction, and water management

vi.  Reverse innovation (innovation is seen or used first in the less developed markets than applied in developed markets)

vii. Students should be encouraged to study the Asian multinational enterprise (MNE) size patterns as presented in this book and reflect on how the varying firm sizes may impact their capability to tap into these opportunities. For example, Dragon TNCs may benefit from a vast resources base to develop new business portfolios or goals, while born global firms may look for niche opportunities.

What are the key trends that have proven transformative to most of Asia and its business environment over the past decade? Why do intermediate products and services play a key role in this?

  • Suggested response: Growth and the continuing emergence of the Asian Middle Class

i.    Demographic issues and skills development

ii.   High tech and servicification patterns

iii. Acceleration and facilitation: Asia-focused international market expansion activity

iv.  Indispensable: Intermediate products and services

v.   Capacity Building payoffs

vi.  Moving together: Market integration trends

vii. Challenging trends

  • A great number of firms are engaged in intra-and inter-firm production and in the trade of unfinished goods and services across borders. They utilize Asia’s diverse and vast array of production advantages, and the supply chains they create bring economies increasingly closer. This leads to greater sharing of markets, capabilities, and upskilling, among others, as a crucial basis to growth.

At the time of writing this textbook, China, Japan and India’s economies are among the world’s top ten economies. Has the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic changed this ranking, and how do you explain your finding?

  • Suggested response: It is likely that some shifts have been experienced in the ranking of the economies worldwide and certainly also across Asia. Students should be encouraged to reflect on the basis of this chapter, upon the underlying macro-economic strengths or weaknesses that will have contributed to these shifts induced through the pandemic.