Recently, I had an amazing opportunity to participate in a World Economic Forum event in an equally amazing locale: Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, where the 22nd World Economic Forum on East Asia was held. Moderating the panel “Chasing the Next Big Idea”—with a range of stakeholders, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair—I witnessed first-hand how bold thinking can contribute to the future of East Asian countries.
Despite recent headlines touting the slow-down in the region, East Asia’s star continues to be on the rise. Five countries in the East Asia region now fall in the top 20 of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, with most scoring above average. And according to UN Millennium Development Goals, East Asia—including the Pacific—is on target to lower poverty rates from 50 percent in 1990 to less than 10 percent in 2015.