International Conference “Asia Update 2019”: The Globalization of Asia

International Conference “Asia Update 2019”: The Globalization of Asia

Venue: V Spa & Conference Hotel, Tartu

Asia Update 2019 is an international conference to be held in Estonia in May 2019. The purpose of the conference is to start a dialogue on what the globalization of Asia means for the world and, in particular, for our region. Discussions will focus on the challenges and opportunities that this process carries and how to prepare for it. The event brings together entrepreneurs, politicians, diplomats and academics to stimulate cooperation between Asia and Europe and to increase the understanding of the stakeholders of Asia and its potential.

Asia Update 2019 will be opened by the President of Estonia, Ms. Kersti Kaljulaid, and the event will include four keynote speeches and eight expert discussions. For more information, see the separate program on the event website. Participation in the conference by invitation only and participation in it is limited to 300 participants. Speakers include high-ranking politicians, entrepreneurs, diplomats and scientists from various regions of the world. The conference is organized jointly with relevant ministries, city authorities, enterprises, universities, and other public and private organizations.

Why Asia?

We cannot ignore the fact that we live in a world of rapid globalization, and that the role of Asia in it is becoming increasingly important. On the one hand, Asia served as a “factory of the world”, offering Western companies the opportunity to leave their home countries and open a business on less expensive production sites. On the other hand, we are now also seeing Asia expanding beyond its region to Europe and the rest of the world to learn, work, visit, live and invest. This creates both opportunities and problems for our system. Learning to understand is a long process, while choosing ignorance will have serious consequences for our future capabilities and competitiveness in the global economy.

The 21st century is considered the century of Asia. According to a PwC report on the world in 2050, China is expected to be the largest economy in the world, accounting for about 20% of world GDP, with India in second place and Indonesia in fourth place (in terms of GDP based on PPP). PwC also predicts that Vietnam, India and Bangladesh will be three of the fastest growing economies in the world during this period. On the contrary, it is expected that the share of the EU-27 in global GDP will shrink to less than 10% by 2050, which is less than India.

The 21st century is also the age of globalization and the free movement of capital, people and ideas. For example, the volume of Asian outgoing investments in Europe in the real estate market was to reach 41.2 billion euros by the end of 2017, which is 2.5 times more than in 2016. Much attention was paid to the growing Chinese investment in Europe, which in 2017 reached $ 81 billion, an increase of 76%. In the tourism sector, Europe accounts for 54% of all Asian interregional travel, while the corresponding travel tariffs increased by 3% in 2016. The number of Asian students is also growing in Europe – in 2015, 53% of all students studying abroad were from Asia. However, it is even more noteworthy that Asia is rapidly gaining competitiveness in attracting foreign students. Many of the leading universities in the world are currently located in Asia and offer undergraduate and graduate programs in English.

In connection with these events taking place in Asia, a series of conferences is aimed at transforming the paradigm of thinking about Asia in a global, regional and local context. It is planned that it will be held in Estonia every two years. The conference series brings together local, regional and international experts, business people, decision makers and implementers who work with Asia to exchange ideas and create networks for common future growth and development.