The Asia-Pacific Region
The 21st century is called the “Asian century”. Political und economical focus shifts to the Asian-pacific region.
East and South-East Asia rank among the most dynamic regions in terms of their economic development. The countries of the region are largely experiencing considerable economic growth (f.e. China) even ranking among the international top performers with growth rates up to 9 per cent. The current economic and financial crisis seems to be overcome. Alongside Japan, China in particular has developed into a regional hub and a global player.
The further development of the ASEAN integration process is a central issue in South Asia. Much importance will also be attached to the plans aimed at the establishment of an East Asian Community. Economic links and integration within ASEAN, but also between ASEAN and China, Japan and South Korea, are constantly increasing.
Demographically Asia becomes more important: Approximately 60% of the world population lives in Asia, mostly in China and India. Many of the world’s biggest cities and metropolitan areas are situated in Asia, for example Tokyo, Mumbai, Delhi, Jakarta and Shanghai.
Nevertheless, the region continues to be the theatre of numerous political crises and unresolved ethnic and social conflicts. Against this background efforts aimed at intensifying political cooperation in the region are of substantial importance.
The following pages provide a brief overview of developments in the Asian-Pacific region.