Philipp Rösler, President of the CV VC Advisory Board, opines on Asia’s awakening, the potential of new technologies and the opportunities for Blockchain Nation Switzerland.
Companies in the West have known for a long time that Asia is catching up enormously in economic terms. What was once the workbench of the world has become a dynamic innovation area, a global economic power. However, politically, the West has yet to turn its attention to Asia. One of the reasons for this is the China confrontation, which was shaped by Trump and has led to economic and technological blockades. Turning toward Asia, however, does not mean that the West should renounce the transatlantic partnership or the European Union. Instead, we must internalize that the development of the Asian economies is likely to shape the 21st century — especially concerning the mega topics of climate and digitalization.
Around five billion people live, work and do business in Asia. The geopolitical and global economic shift is in full swing. The new Asia-Pacific trade alliance, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), is just the latest example. The 15 countries of Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam have signed the agreement. This deal is groundbreaking and will dramatically change world trade.
The startup scene there is just as curious, industrious, entrepreneurial and creative as in Silicon Valley or Europe.
Brussels and, above all, Europe’s economic locomotive Germany will have to position themselves and show what the economic model of the future looks like and how we want to preserve our prosperity. The question is, what economic policy strategies are Brussels and Berlin putting in place to counter Asia’s desire for advancement?
Politicians tend to overlook two things: On the one hand, Asian economies have the Corona pandemic well under control; on the other, they are fully focused on regaining economic strength. In Asia, the triad of industrial competence, digital sovereignty and an indomitable forward-looking attitude is not a country-specific exception to China. This thinking is anchored throughout Asia. Considering the demographic development of the West, this triad will still pose a significant challenge to the European economies.
Europe’s trade, security and development policy initiatives and a critical approach to China are the first building blocks for this. Nevertheless, more is needed. We should invest much more in our European relations with Asia. I am committed to an Indo-Pacific strategy, a dialogue with partners who have similar values to the West.
South Korea, India, Japan, Australia or New Zealand should play a key role for us. I support the alliance of democracies announced by Joe Biden. I am convinced that global issues relating to technology, security, sustainability and connectivity are best discussed and deepened with value partners.
We should invest much more in our European relations with Asia.
Absolutely. In times of the 4th industrial revolution, it is not the big fish that eats the little fish, but the fast fish that eats the slow fish. In this respect innovations remain immensely important. Moreover, Switzerland, as a highly innovative country, will hold its own — if the speed is maintained.
Not at all. Crypto Valley is one of the leading blockchain ecosystems in the world, not least because of advanced regulation and a large number of blockchain companies. Blockchain technology is one of the big vital technologies that can solve many current problems of the Internet such as stability, reliability and security of digital infrastructure and platforms, privacy, preservation of value, the transaction of data, centrality versus decentralization. Switzerland and Asia are investing a lot in blockchain technology. Moreover, countries like South Korea, Vietnam and other ASEAN countries, in particular, are fast-growing economies that are jumping into the digital age and are often on par with Europe or the US on technology issues. Here, it is essential to build bridges and promote technological and economic exchange — for the benefit of all.
I advocate and am committed to an Asia Bridge, to civil society, scientific and economic dialogue with our Asian partners.
I am fascinated by the forward-looking nature of Crypto Valley. It connects Switzerland with Asia. I want to be a door opener for CV VC and the Blockchain Nation Switzerland, launch joint initiatives, ecosystems, exchange programs, conferences for entrepreneurs, scientists and investors…
As a sought-after and experienced incubator, there are tremendous opportunities for CV VC in Asia. The startup scene there is just as curious, industrious, entrepreneurial and creative as in Silicon Valley or Europe. CV VC is, therefore, in the right place at the right time to be a great partner to these dynamic startups.
“Asia will shape digitization in the 21st century” was originally published in CV VC on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.