The New Asian Middle Class will examine the demographic upheavals taking place across Asian emerging economies, and explore new incentives to invest in the face of burgeoning urban demand.
With a wave of new entrants into the labour force, declining fertility rates, and fewer older dependents than in many developed countries, Asia now hosts an increasingly skilled and mobile generation, many of whom enjoy newly disposable incomes. This presents an unparalleled window of opportunity for investors in Asian consumer markets, but also creates serious challenges for policymakers re-allocating healthcare, housing, and social welfare costs.
The first panel, ‘The Demographic Dividend’, will identify key regional economic trends and reveal their market relevance for companies and nations interested in harnessing the potential of the new Asian middle classes. Our speakers will provide unique and valuable insight into the nuances of Asian consumer culture and how best to open and grow new business opportunities.
The second panel, ‘Urbanisation Unleashed’, will analyse policy challenges in the metropolises of China and India in particular, and investigate how infrastructure solutions, smart regulation and sustainable resource investment in partnership with the private sector can stabilise the conditions necessary for economic growth and social integration.
Panel 1: The Demographic Dividend
Keynote speaker: Dominic Barton is the Global Managing Director of McKinsey & Company. In his 27 years with the firm, Dominic has advised clients in a range of industries including banking, consumer goods, high tech and industrial. Prior to his current role, Dominic was based in Shanghai as McKinsey’s Asia Chairman from 2004 to 2009 and led the Korea office from 2000 to 2004.
Paul Walsh is CEO of Diageo. He is also a non-executive director of FedEx Corporation, Unilever plc, and Avanti Communications plc. Paul also holds positions as Chairman of the Scotch Whisky Association and has also been appointed Business Ambassador for the food and drink industries by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Mark Dunhill is the International Director of T.M.Lewin. Prior to joining the Board of TM Lewin, Mark was the CEO of Fabergé, where he led the multi-national team which has restored the famous name to its former position as one of the most desirable jewellers in the world. Before joining Fabergé, Mark ran Alfred Dunhill’s operations in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and India.
Andrew Heyn is the British Ambassador to Myanmar. He began his diplomatic career as the Private Secretary to Minister for Europe and Financial Services at the Department of Trade and Industry. Following his diplomatic assignments in Ireland, Portugal and Venezuela, Andrew took up his post as Ambassador in 2009.
Moderator: Simon Long is “Banyan”, The Economist’s Singapore-based Asia columnist. He has held positions as the magazine’s Bangkok South-East Asia correspondent, Finance and Economics editor and Asia Editor in London, and South Asia Bureau Chief based in Delhi. He had previously spent nine years with the BBC, and has written extensively for the Guardian newspaper, and many other outlets.
Panel 2: Urbanisation Unleashed
Terry Hill CBE is the Chair of Board of Trustees of ARUP and a Member of the Infrastructure UK Advisory Council. His particular skills are in transportation, engineering, economics and planning. As former Group Chairman of ARUP, he is knowledgeable on the expanding markets in Asia and urbanisation and infrastructure development.
Peter Sargent is Head of Global Loans and Transaction Banking, Europe, ANZ (Australia and New Zealand Bank). With extensive experience working with Australasian and European Institutional Investors as they seek to gain returns on investment in major infrastructure projects in Asia, Peter is ideally placed to comment on the issues around long project-cycle infrastructure development projects in the Pan-Asian region.
Hyun Bang Shin, Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science. Hyun is also an associate at the Asia Research Centre (LSE), the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (LSE) and the White Rose East Asia Centre at the University of Leeds. Hyun, originally from Korea, lectures in Urban Geography and is an expert on the issues relating to rapidly urbanising Asian countries including China. He examines the political economy of urbanisation and the implications on social and demographic change as a result of growing urban centres across the region.
Dr Pushpa Arabindoo is a Lecturer in Geography and Urban Design at University College London. Her research stems from her long standing investigation of the new middle class in urban India examining their role in several aspects of urbanisation challenges including governance, infrastructure, planning and environmental management. Through teaching, she has been undertaking a comparative analysis of Indian and Chinese cities to gain a better understanding of the emergence of a specific form of Asian urbanism.
Moderator: Yuval Atsmon is a Principal in McKinsey & Company's Consumer Packaged Goods and Strategy Practices with a special focus on growth in emerging markets. Now based in London, he previously spent six years in Shanghai, helping retail and consumer goods companies navigate China’s rapidly-changing economic landscape.