The Rising Asia RPN, established in April 2019 for an initial three year period, is led by Kees Koedijk, Professor of Financial Management at Tilburg University and CEPR Research Fellow. The RPN will create a global policy research platform that allows CEPR Fellows, Associate Fellows and other international academics to collaborate on the development, transformation and dissemination of theory and policy within the domestic, regional and international context of Asian countries’ (economic and financial) development, reform and transition goals.
Since the turn of the 21st century, the economic ascendance of the East has clearly picked up considerable speed, leaving the relative contribution of the West (i.e. US and Eurozone) to world GDP in slow decline. With the concurrent and rapid increase in the share of Asian countries in this respect, a profound shift in global economic power from West to East is inevitably set to take place. With Asian countries accounting for 60% of the entire world population (the four behemoths China, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan together already account for one-third), it is beyond question that such shift will have significant impact with potentially broad-scale ramifications as Asia gradually becomes more integrated with the current global systems in place. As the balance of power is shifting in their favour along several dimensions – be it (socio)economic, financial or (geo)political – Asian countries will not only want to claim their rightful seat at the table but more so, will also want to exercise an equal voice, vote and stake in the shaping of these global systems.
Against this backdrop, rethinking the old rules simply cannot be avoided and thus several immediate questions come to mind. For instance, will such tectonic shift unfold in a gradual and calculable fashion, or rather in an erratic and highly unpredictable manner instead? Perhaps even more important, will this change in the balance of power be peaceful, inclusive and based on a win-win outcome, or should we brace for a highly disruptive era with a zero-sum outcome instead? Much will depend on the compatibility of the existing economic growth models and financial system architectures currently in place, and in particular, the extent to which these need revised or tailored via economic transition and financial reform, in an attempt to accommodate to this new context. From a broad policy perspective, the pertinence and significance of such discussion is rather self-evident.